Climate change is the long-term change in average weather patterns and average temperatures across the world. Since the beginning of the 19th century, this change in climate has been happening more quickly, caused by our own activities and changes in how we live.
During the Industrial Revolution, which started in the early 1800s, humans began to burn fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas for fuel in our homes, in factories, and for transport.
Although burning fossil fuels produces energy, it also releases greenhouse gas emissions such as carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. These gases trap the heat from the sun in the Earth’s atmosphere, causing the temperature to rise.
The volume of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is now around 50% higher than it was before we started burning fossil fuels on a large scale during the Industrial Revolution. This has caused global temperatures to rise by roughly 1.2°C.