Climate change

For the last 10,000 years average global temperatures have been around 14˚C. However in the last 100 years our climate has started to change, as the graph below shows.

Graph of global annual temperature against year.

Increases in temperatures have been recorded on land and in the oceans.

Changes to rainfall patterns have been observed - these are sometimes more extreme. This means that locations are either a lot wetter or a lot drier than they used to be. At other times the rainfall pattern is out of season.

The extreme rainfall in the UK during the summer of 2007 is an example of this. During the spring and summer of 2012 the UK experienced higher than average rainfall. In 2010 winter brought exceptionally cold conditions and higher than average snowfall. However, in general, UK summers are getting drier and winters are getting wetter.