Climate change: the physics

The main points of the physics of climate change are
  • the world has warmed on average by 1.1°C
  • this is caused principally by mankind's emissions of CO2
  • it is causing increased droughts, heatwaves, storms and floods
  • future emissions will cause additional warming
  • the larger the total emissions, the greater the warming.
This is the scientific consensus based on the IPCC AR6 WG1 report of 2021.

Average temperatures are increasing

Source: IPCC [1]

The source is the IPCC [1] unless otherwise stated.

There are more extreme weather events

Extreme heat

Heavy rainfall


Fire weather

The oceans are changing

Future emissions will cause additional warming

Source: IPCC [1]

Every tonne of CO2 emissions adds to global warming

Source: IPCC [1]


The main source for this document is the IPCC AR6 WG1 report of August 2021.


[1]IPCC press conference slides (Aug 2021):
[2]Nasa (viewed 6.4.2019)

Last updated: 31 Oct 2022