Global warming is the recent and ongoing rise in global average temperature near the Earth's surface, which is causing our climate patterns to change. Experts observing global warming since the industrial era say it's caused by increasing greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. A warmer planet means the ocean and the atmosphere will interact differently, this then impacts the weather.
Climate change is when any significant changes take place in our climate over a long period of time. It includes major changes in factors like temperature, precipitation, and/or wind patterns.
Climate change adaptation means taking steps to prepare and respond to the effects of the changing climate. Examples include planting trees to cool roads and pavements and emergency planning.
Climate change mitigation means reducing or avoiding greenhouse gas emissions to minimise the rate and magnitude of climate change. An example is increasing renewable electricity and boosting energy efficiency to lower the greenhouse gas emissions which cause the climate to change.
Emissions means the release of greenhouse gases and/or their precursors into the atmosphere over a specified area and period of time.
The Greenhouse effect
Since the Industrial Revolution began around 1750, humans have been burning fossil fuels, which is the activity most affecting the amount and rate of climate change. These fuels release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere which cause the Earth's temperature to rise (global warming).
Heat caused by infrared radiation is prevented from escaping from the Earth's atmosphere by greenhouse gases: mainly water vapour, carbon dioxide, ozone and methane. Although greenhouse gases make up only about 1% of the Earth's atmosphere, they regulate our climate by trapping heat and holding it in a warm-air blanket that surrounds the planet. While the greenhouse effect is essential for life on Earth, humans have warmed the planet to more than its ideal temperature.
Greenhouse gases remain in the atmosphere for a long time. So even if we stopped all emissions today, the planet will continue to warm far into the future. The degree to which it warms is key, if we don't act today the warming changes will become too hot to handle.
NSW and ACT Regional Climate Modelling Project- produced the ACT Climate Change Snapshot.
: Canberra’s Green Directory connects you with organisations and businesses concerned with climate change and sustainability solutions in the ACT and region.
: an ACT community hub for working to create a sustainable Canberra that includes a calendar of upcoming events.
ANU Climate Change Institute: The Institute draws on the wealth of climate change expertise across the national university's seven colleges and puts on some really great, informative events.
Bureau of Meteorology
Australia's national weather, climate and water agency provides trend maps and global time series illustrating climate change and variability.
Clean Energy Regulator
the national Government body responsible for administering legislation to reduce Australia’s carbon emissions and increase the use of clean energy.
Climate Change in Australia is a site showing how Australia's climate change has changed and may change in the future.
Climate Council are an independent non-profit organisation providing clear, independent information on climate change to the Australian community.
Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) — Australia's national science agency provides up-to-date climate science and solutions for Australia.
is an independent US based organisation of leading scientists and journalists researching and reporting the facts about climate change and informs the public of key findings.
contains information about the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. The UNFCCC has near universal membership and is the parent treaty of the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.
World Meteorological Organization
coordinates, manages and analyses information provided by the National Meteorological and Hydrological Services; produces bulletins on climate change science and related issues.