The facts about climate change are clear: the earth is warming, man-made emissions are causing the warming, and the effects will get worse over time.
For the 5th time since it was chartered by the UN in 1988 to review and assess the science of climate change, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has released a series of reports in 2013-2014 detailing the state of knowledge on climate change, including its impacts and efforts to both mitigate and adapt to it.
The basics of climate change, therefore, are solidly established. However, the political discourse on the issue is very different than the scientific arguments. In order to clearly show the basics that policymakers need to know, this paper lays out 10 essential facts about climate change. These are facts and are not in dispute.
1. The Earth is Warming
2. The Climate has always Changed – but never this rapidly in human history
3. Today’s Warming is Due to Emissions from Fossil Fuels
4. Sea Levels Are Rising
5. The Arctic is Melting
6. The Oceans are Becoming More Acidic
7. Weather Events are Becoming more Intense
8. Seemingly Small Changes in Temperature have Immense Consequences
9. The Effects of Climate Change Will Make Life Difficult for People
10. Climate Change Presents National Security Threats