Climate Change

Climate Change

The overwhelming weight of scientific evidence indicates that human activity is the predominant cause of recent climate change. It is clear that the increase in carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gas emissions since the industrial revolution is the chief cause of observed global warming. Regional and year-on-year variations are expected within climate systems, but the evidence shows warming over the last half-century that cannot be explained by natural causes.

Carbon dioxide is already at levels much higher than at any time in the last 800,000 years, and continued emissions are expected to lead to significant further warming. Moreover, the speed of warming will be faster than during past natural climate change events, making adaptation more difficult. This change in climate is expected to bring changes in regional temperature and precipitation and to increase the frequency of heat waves, heavy rainfall, and some other types of extreme weather events. These will have a serious adverse effect on human wellbeing and the natural world.

The choices we make now will have far-reaching consequences. We need to develop mitigation and adaptation strategies to address the challenges that climate change poses. These strategies include developing and deploying low carbon technologies, improving energy efficiency, and changing behaviours to enable sustainable development.

The Royal Society of Chemistry and the Institution of Chemical Engineers are committed to supporting the chemical sciences community in their contributions to tackling climate change. The chemical sciences help us to understand, mitigate, and adapt to climate change. The best evidence based on the best science is essential to inform the right policy decisions on all three fronts. Already, chemists and chemical engineers contribute in a variety of ways, such as improving our understanding of atmospheric and ocean chemistry, investigating the consequences of climate change, developing new energy and carbon mitigation solutions, and helping crops to tolerate the changing conditions.

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