An illustration showing solar panels on a hillside

The evidence is clear

Scientists have known for a long time that human activity is causing climate change.

Cows in a field with a power station in the background releasing fumes in the atmosphere

Some of the best-known causes are the burning of fossil fuels and the destruction of rainforests.

But there are lots of others, like farming methods, food waste and over-production of manufactured goods.

Over millions of years, natural events such as volcanic eruptions, changes in the Earth’s orbit and shifts in the Earth's crust have also caused climate change.

But, since the Industrial Revolution began about 250 years ago, human activity has become the leading cause.

You may have heard that 'greenhouse gas' emissions, caused by human activity, cause global warming. There are many greenhouse gases but one, carbon dioxide, is responsible for about two thirds of global warming.

Natural disasters from weather, climate and water occur about five times more often today than 50 years ago as a result of global warming.

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change says that unsustainable activities release greenhouse gases. These cause warming of the atmosphere, oceans and land, which leads to climate change.

These disasters have caused about two million deaths since the early 1970s. Damage caused by extreme weather cost the world around $16.3 million per hour from 2000 to 2019.

Next section: What's the link to sustainability?

Flood waters swirling round two road signs.
Grass growing in untidy tufts

Is this page helpful?

Is this page helpful?