If you think climate change is 50 years away, think again.
According to the world’s experts - the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - the Earth is warming faster than at any time in the past 10,000 years. Ten of the hottest years on record have occurred since 1995. See more >>
The effects of temperature rise are already being experienced on a global scale. In the UK, 2007 has seen the warmest April since 1865. July 2006 was the warmest month ever recorded in the UK.
Global warming is fast transforming weather patterns, and threatens many millions of people with disaster - crippling agriculture and water supply. The direct and knock-on effects of climate change could lead to a billion people becoming refugees.
In the US at least eight states face severe or extreme drought. According the UK’s Independent newspaper in Alabama wheat crops are failing as rainfall levels are 12 inches lower than average. In California and Nevada there has been less rainfall than at any time since 1924.
Climate change may make events such as the US drought increasingly common. For the world’s poorest countries - where people often live in already harsh environments - it would be disaster.
The UK’s Meteorological Office predicts in its report on the Effects of climate change on developing countries, that extreme drought occurrence is likely to increase from under 3% of the globe today to almost a third by 2100.
Want to know more?
Met Office Hadley Centre >>