What is causing climate breakdown?

What is causing climate breakdown?

The science is clear—greenhouse gas emissions are making the planet hotter and we have broken the safe planetary boundary for climate change . If  emissions keep rising, scientists warn that we face an unlivable future, with extreme heat, drought and sea level rise causing widespread crop failure and mass migration. Rainfall will become more extreme with more frequent, more intense flooding events. In the UK, this puts coastal areas at serious risk, particularly when coupled with sea level rise.

Since humans started burning fossil fuels, the average global temperature has risen by around 1.2ºC. That might not sound like much, but it is beyond anything experienced by human civilisation, and is already causing a marked increase in fires, floods, crop failure and extreme weather across the planet.


Every extra fraction of a degree amplifies these effects, adding to suffering and economic cost both here in the UK, and around the world. And the longer we leave it, the greater the risk of crossing dangerous tipping points, like the loss of the Amazon rainforest or the collapse of giant polar ice sheets, which could accelerate warming beyond our ability to stop it.

There is still time to act, to clean our air and restore and protect nature. Scientists tell us that it is not too late to avoid the worst of climate change and restore the health of the natural world, but only if we are prepared to take bold action immediately.

David Attenborough said recently: “It may sound frightening, but the scientific evidence is that if we have not taken dramatic action within the next decade, we could face irreversible damage to the natural world and the collapse of our societies. We are running out of time, but there is still hope.”

Discover more frequently asked questions about Zero Hour, the Climate & Nature Bill, Climate Change, and the Nature Crisis.

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