About Climate Change

Overview of climate change

Climate change is a long-term change in global or regional climate patterns and conditions caused by increased levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which in turn, result in more heat being trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the United Nations (UN) body for assessing the science related to climate change. The IPCC prepares Assessment Reports about knowledge on climate change, its causes, potential impacts and response options.

The IPCC’s Synthesis Report of the Fifth Assessment Report (ARF5) on climate change concludes that many of the observed changes since the 1950s are unprecedented over decades to millennia. The atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amounts of snow and ice have diminished, sea level has risen, and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased.

The dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century is ‘extremely likely’ to be human influence. Continued emission of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems.

The IPCC’s ARF5 highlights that there is the opportunity to limit climate change and its risks, with many solutions that allow for continued economic and human development.

To read more on the IPCC’s work
To learn more about climate change science

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