The UN Framework Convention on Climate Change defines climate change as, ‘a change of climate which is attributed directly or indirectly to human activity that alters the composition of the global atmosphere and which is in addition to natural climate variability observed over comparable time periods.’ Open UN link
Often referred to as Global Warming because of the increase in average global temperatures, it is caused mainly by greenhouse gases such as Carbon Dioxide (CO2). Levels of CO2 in the atmosphere are increasing rapidly. A safe level is considered to be 350 parts per million (ppm) Open Reference . In January 2011, the level was 390 ppm Open Reference.
Anthropogenic Climate Change puts the blame on human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels which result in the emission of greenhouse gases. Over 95% of climate scientists agree that Climate Change is caused by human activity.
Despite a recent increase in climate skepticism, NASA research has found that 2010 was the joint warmest year on record equaling 2005 Open Reference. Since 1880, nine of the ten hottest years have occurred since 2000 Open Reference .
The effects of Climate Change are more extreme weather patterns such as floods, droughts, storms, heatwaves and freezes all of which are becoming increasingly regular on various parts of the planet. Rising sea levels, ocean acidification and failing agricultural output are other effects that also threaten human activity and human life.