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What Is Climate Change

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What is climate change?
The Earth's climate has changed over the last century. Increases in average temperatures have been seen around the globe and there is new and stronger evidence that most of the warming observed in the last 50 years is due to human activities.

While climate change is a global issue, it will affect us all. Climate change has the potential to adversely affect our environment, our communities and our economy unless we take action now to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for the impacts.
Climate change will alter global and local climates. In Victoria, this means a warmer and drier future, with an increasing likelihood of more extreme events such as heatwaves, bushfires and storm surges.
Climate change is the greatest threat facing our planet today. A warming planet alters weather patterns, water supplies, seasonal growth for plants and a sustainable way of life for us and the world’s wildlife. Climate change has already started, but it’s not too late to take action. There’s still time for us all to be part of the solution.
A continuous flow of energy from the sun heats the Earth. Naturally occurring gases in the atmosphere, known as greenhouse gases – this includes carbon dioxide (CO2) - , trap this heat like a blanket, keeping the Earth at an average of 15 degrees Celsius – warm enough to sustain life. The overuse of fossil fuels is increasing CO2 in the atmosphere, trapping more and more heat and warming the Earth. As a result, we’re seeing more dramatic weather patterns across the globe resulting in devastating natural disasters and shrinking the world’s ice shelves and glaciers due to warming sea water. Because ice acts as a solar reflector, the less ice there is, the less heat the Earth reflects. WWF provides more detail on the impacts of climate change on our polar regions, glaciers and more.

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