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Climate change

Floods in Mozambique. Forest fires in Indonesia. Hurricanes in Florida. Storms in the UK.

Global warming impact - forest fires mean climate change

Extreme weather events are predicted to become more frequent because of climate change.

What causes climate change?

Climate change or global warming is caused by increased levels of carbon dioxide (C02) and other polluting gases in our atmosphere.

Global warming caused by greenhouse gases

Heat from the Sun (a) is trapped by the
gases in our atmosphere (b)

The gases trap heat by forming a blanket around the Earth - like the glass of a greenhouse.

Once released the greenhouse gases stay in the atmosphere for many years. As they build up, the planet's temperature rises.

Greenhouse gases are released by burning fossil fuels - coal, oil and gas - and by cutting down forests.

An unfair share

Did you know?

The UK with 1% of the world's population produces 2.3% of the world's C02.

Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center

Rich countries, like the US and Australia don't want to take action to stop climate change. But the most vulnerable people are worse hit.

Approximately 25,000 people died in the heat wave that hit Western Europe in 2003 - these were mostly the elderly, sick and very young.

The World Health Organisation (PDF) believes this is what we can expect from climate change.

International action is needed now to prevent future tragedies like this. But will agreements like the Kyoto Protocol make the difference?

Next: Kyoto Protocol >

Images: © DigitalVision, Friends of the Earth

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I Count: Stop Climate Chaos - We can stop climate chaos

Last modified:
Menu: May 2008
Content: May 2004