A new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has confirmed global warming on the ground, in the air and in our oceans.
And the 250 scientists involved in the work are 95% certain that humans have been the "dominant cause" of the rise in temperatures since the 1950s.
The IPCC report says that many of the changes we have seen since the 1950s are unprecedented ‘over decades to millennia’. Temperatures have risen by about 0.8 °C since pre-industrial times, Arctic sea ice extent has declined by 4% per decade since records began in 1979 and sea levels have been rising by about 3mm a year since the early 1990s.
Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850. In the Northern Hemisphere, 1983–2012 is ‘likely’ to have been the warmest 30-year period of the last 1400 years.
Read the NFU's response here
The Met Office’s Prof Stephen Belcher said: “Well established physics tell us that if we increase concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, then global temperatures will rise. The question is about how much warming will occur, where it will warm fastest and what the implications are. That is what this latest report seeks to answer.”
For the UK, the report projects a decline in the Gulf Stream effect which keeps our climate mild.
However, relative to elsewhere, the reduction in warming here would not be enough to counter the inexorable rise in temperature as a result of increasing greenhouses gases.
The new report shows that even under a scenario for the future with extensive measures to mitigate global CO2 emissions, the UK is still projected to warm over the course of the century.
Limiting climate change would require substantial and sustained reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases.