New website explains science behind climate change headlines

A new website which presents an overview of some of the most important areas of study in climate science has been launched.

The website, which will be hosted in a new section of the Government Office for Science website, helps anyone wishing to get beyond the day-to-day headlines to gain a deeper understanding of the fundamental scientific issues involved.

It explains both where evidence is well established and where findings and projections remain subject to greater uncertainty, for those uncertain about the state of scientific knowledge.

The online resource explains the scientific issues, evidence and principles behind key points, such as that human activities, in particular burning fossil fuels and land use changes, release CO2 and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere and greenhouse gases trap heat radiated by the Earth, which warms the Earth’s surface and the atmosphere.

Also, that CO2 levels have reached the highest seen for at least 800,000 years, that several independent analyses show global average temperatures to be rising and many other observations, such as Arctic summer sea ice extent, confirm the long term warming trend.

Government Chief Scientific Adviser Professor Sir John Beddington said: "The fact that uncertainty exists in climate science, as it does in other fields, does not detract from the value of the evidence."

"But an appreciation of the nature and degree of uncertainty, and of the likelihood and potential severity of risks, is critical if the science is to properly inform decision-making."

Further information:
Department for Business, Innovation and Skills