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The science

Climate change: changes caused by rises in the Earth's global temperature

The cause

Greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide, are naturally present in the atmosphere and stop heat escaping.

Due to human activities – primarily the burning of fossil fuels – more of these gases are emitted, causing global temperature to rise.

IPCC report

The new IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report* shows with greater clarity and certainty than ever before that

• climate change is real

• it's caused by human activity

• it requires urgent action

There is now 95 per cent certainty among scientists that climate change is caused by humans – the same degree of certainty that smoking causes lung cancer.

Scientists tell us that if the average global temperature rises by more than 1.5°C, compared with pre-industrial levels, there will be serious consequences for us all.

The IPCC confirms that each of the last three decades has been successively warmer than any preceding decade since 1850, causing

• snow and icecaps to melt

• glaciers to disappear

• oceans to become warmer, and sea levels to rise.

The Impacts

Experts predict far more droughts, floods and extreme weather than we have ever known.

To name just a few of the consequences, we can expect: 

  • Smaller harvests and more hunger

  • Diminished  fish stocks and coral reefs as oceans become too acidic

  • National and regional insecurity bringing risk of conflict

  • Increased extreme weather events.

What can we do about it?

We know that we can’t continue to burn fossil fuels. We must leave the vast majority in the ground if we’re to keep warming to a safe level. 

But there is a solution: It has a lot to do with money, it involves us all and it’s already begun.

We need to put our money where our prayers our, and shift money out of fossil fuel industries and into cleaner renewable energies.

Find out how we can join with God’s work of renewing and liberating creation here.