A new website that explains the science behind climate change was recently launched by Professor Sir John Beddington, The Government's Chief Scientific Adviser.
The website, which can be foind at www.bis.gov.uk/go-science/climatescience presents an overview of some of the most important areas of climate science study and aims to help those wishing to get behind the day-to-day headlines to learn more about the fundamental scientific issues involved.
With few areas of science having such profound implications for publuc policy and society, it is a research field not without controversy and headline hitting stories. For those uncertain about the state of scientific knowledge, the web resource explains where evidence is well established and where findings and projections remain uncertain.
Sir John said " Reporting on climate change science has often created more heat than light. The evidence is compelling that climate change is happening, that human activities are the major driver and that the future risks are substantial.
At the same time there is much we need to understand better; for example, the pace and extent of the changes we can expect, and regional impacts."
"The fact that uncertainty exists in climate science, as it does in other fields, does not detract from the value of evidence. But an appreciation of the nature and degree of uncertainty, and of the lielihood and potential severity of risks, is critical if the science is to properly inform decision-making."
The online rescource, hosted in a new section of the Government Office for Science website, explains the scientific issues, evidence and principles behind a number of key points including the contribution of human activities to climate change and how greenshouse gases actually hea the earth.
Carbon Dioxide levels are now over a third higher than they were before the industrial revolution and allegedly continues to rise fast.
Several independent studies show global average temperatures to be rising and many other observations such as Arctic summer sea ice extent, are said to confirm the long term warming trend.