The climate is changing in ways that jeopardize human security and well being. The global warming trend we are currently experiencing differs alarmingly from past changes in the Earth’s climate. This warming is largely driven by human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels, agriculture, and clearing of forests, which release heat-trapping gases such as carbon dioxide.
The effects of rising temperatures and shifting precipitation patterns are already being felt across the globe. And the risks are increasing every year as emissions continue to rise. However, even with aggressive emission reduction policies, the Earth will continue to warm over the coming decades due to past emissions. As a result, we no longer have the luxury of treating climate change as a future problem. Climate change is with us today and we need to tackle it from a risk management perspective. This will require aggressive actions to reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases to avoid the risks of the most severe impacts coupled with systems-based approaches to building resilience to climate variability and change today.