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Understanding Climate Science in 10 Easy Steps

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Environment and Climate Resource Center page and our Organic Transitions page.

The latest United Nations report on climate change is about to be finalised, written by thousands of scientists. The report is VERY important, but also a bit dull.

What we really want to know is: How bad is climate change? And what can we do about it? Using the latest IPCC findings and a few other recent discoveries, here's our take on what you need to know about climate change and what to do about it.

1. Politicians talk - too little happens

Politicians spend a lot of time talking about reducing greenhouse gas emissions that are causing the planet to heat up. But despite all the chatter, emissions are still growing.

From 2000 to 2010, greenhouse gas emissions grew faster than before. The reason? We keep burning more fossil fuels. The climate scientists' advice, however, is clear: we need to get rid of man-made carbon emissions entirely.

2. Without action, things will get bad  

We are running out of time and the consequences of not tackling climate change now will be bad. Without cutting emissions life on Earth is going to get very hot, chaotic and unpredictable. Global warming will act like an old, broken microwave - some parts of the planet will experience mild rises in temperature whilst others will simply burn.

If we don't cut emissions soon, apocalyptic forest fires, deadly heat waves and food production losses could become the new normal. With higher air and sea temperatures, extreme weather events will happen more and more, destroying homes and livelihoods. As sea levels rise, tropical island states can be under water and major cities, such as London and New York will be in serious trouble. Extinction rates will accelerate big time and entire ecosystems could collapse.  
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