Climate Change – The Science

A signpost page to some of the best independent explanations of the facts on climate change.

There’s no denying that climate change presents humanity with a huge challenge. Don’t despair though. There is still time to act and create a better future, powered by clean energy. This is an achievable goal, but we need to turn our full focus to this task. At a local parish level, we are looking for as many people as possible to get involved, working together to devise creative solutions, sharing information, and supporting each other to help create rapid change.

There is no time to waste.

An overview of climate change from trusted independent organisations

The following sites provide an excellent overview of climate science, with lots of graphics, and links to more detailed information

  • NASA – Global Climate Change: The Facts – Click here
  • The Met Office – What is Climate Change – Click here
  • Met Office – Key Projections for UK Temperatures and Rainfall in 2070 – Click here
  • Met Office – Key Projections for Coastal areas by 2100 – Click here
  • BBC: Climate Change – Where we are in 7 charts and what you can do to help – Click here
  • Answers to frequently asked questions – NASA Click here
  • The climate impact of eating meat and dairy – Click here


A Word from Sir David Attenborough

An illuminating 3 minute trailer for David Attenborough’s programme “Climate Change – The Facts”

A Historical Perspective

This fascinating graphic demonstrates that the UK’s bears a significant responsibility for the warming gases released since 1750, and still today acting as a warming blanket in the atmosphere. Press PLAY on the following box and you’ll that by the mid 1800’s UK had emitted far more CO2 than the rest of the world combined thanks to our leading the industrial revolution. As the graphic moves through the years up to the present day, other countries catch up us up economically, with a late surge from China as our manufacturing is increasingly moved overseas.

Many living in the world’s less developed countries who have contributed little to global heating consider that countries like the UK should be leading the way in making reductions, aiming to reduce to zero carbon faster than the global average

New CO2 Visualisation from NASA

Amazing new visualisation showing CO2 and carbon monoxide emissions from population centres – reconstructed from monitor station data with a supercomputer.  Included here more for interest – but it is interesting to see where the CO2 is being emitted.

What is the Greenhouse Effect?

Carbon dioxide, methane, and other “greenhouse gases” trap heat that would otherwise escape Earth’s atmosphere. In the right proportion, these gases do a critical job ensuring the atmosphere holds onto enough heat to support every kind of life on the planet. The problem arises when levels of these gases get too high because of human activities, trapping too much of the sun’s energy as heat and upsetting the natural systems that regulate our climate. Things keep getting hotter and hotter and we start seeing more and more extreme weather and other impacts.

A word from the Met Office’s Head of Climate Impact Research

Speaking about the International Panel on Climate Change’s Oct 2018 special report on limiting temperature rise to no more than 1.5 degrees.

Pathways for reaching Zero Carbon

Scientists have calculated the total amount of fossil fuels we can burn whilst retaining a ‘medium’ chance of remaining within 1.5 degrees of temperature rise. The rate at which we need to transition to zero carbon depends on how quickly we start acting.  But the world needs to achieve net zero emissions by around 2040. Note that we aren’t even talking about certainties here. A conservative approach would not see us straying anywhere near as close to the danger line, which is why many are calling for moving onto a ‘war footing’ to achieve carbon neutrality much faster.

The dotted line crossing at 2050 shows a pathway for keeping global average temperature rise within 2 degrees. When you hear the Met Office chap above on how that extra half a degree is likely to make the effects of global heating twice as bad, delaying until 2050 does seem extraordinarily reckless.  Unfortunately this is the UK government’s current policy, and UK isn’t even on track with that. This report from parliament’s own scrutiny body, the Committee on Climate Change highlights their concerns about lack of progress.

Pathways to zero carbon

The above chart describes global emissions. Poorer countries can’t avoid emissions rising for a while as their populations emerge from poverty, and strive for a developed world lifestyle. This means more developed countries, like ours, have to move faster. We also have to recognise that countries like Russia are not going to play a responsible role. It’s hard to avoid the conclusion that there is an onus on older economies like UK who bear historic responsibility for emissions to act more quickly.

Please be alert to misinformation

Regardless of warm words from CEOs on radio 4, fossil fuel companies are still attempting to throw climate research findings into doubt, with the top 5 oil companies alone spending over $200m per year on PR “designed to control, delay or block binding climate-motivated policy”. And with many of the UK’s newspapers owned by wealthy individuals with large investments in fossil fuels, it’s perhaps unsurprising that there is still a sizeable minority of people who aren’t aware of the seriousness of the global problem we face.

This is why this page links only to highly trusted and widely respected independent organisations who produce objective evidence-based information.

Click on the table opposite for more details of the independent study on fossil fuel PR spending.

Corporate lobbying spending

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