What is Climate Change?
Climate Change is an issue of huge significance for all communities and was formally recognised by the Isle of Wight Council when it signed the Nottingham Declaration on Climate Change in November 2007.
Eco Island, the sustainable community strategy, also recognises the importance of climate change.
Climate is the average weather experienced over a long period and whilst this has changed in the past, we are now experiencing relatively rapid increases in the Earth’s surface temperatures. The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) states that:
• the Earth’s surface has warmed by about 0.754°C on average since around 1900 and by around 0.4°C since the 1970s.
• over 30 billion tonnes of CO2 are emitted globally each year by burning fossil fuels.
• atmospheric concentration of CO2 is now higher than at any time in at least the last 800,000 years.
• average global temperatures are likely to rise between 1.1°C and 6.4°C above 1990 levels by the end of this century.
Scientific evidence leaves no doubt that human activity is the main cause of the warming observed over the last 100 years, particularly over the last 50 years. The main human influence on global climate is the emission of so called greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and nitrous oxide.