Our climate is changing
Take action on climate change
We committed to the Victorian Government’s TAKE2 collective climate change pledge initiative, which will help Victoria reach its net zero greenhouse gas emissions target by 2050.
In doing so, Victoria will make a meaningful contribution to helping keep global temperature rises to under two degrees.
To reach our target, and for Victoria to play its part in reducing global warming, we need to act together.
We are taking action and we encourage you to join us and take the TAKE2 pledge.
To avoid the most severe impacts of climate change, we all need to urgently and significantly reduce our carbon emissions.
What is causing climate change?
The greenhouse effect is a process where radiative energy from the sun passes through the atmosphere and warms the surface of the Earth. The Earth's surface then releases most of the energy as heat, back into the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases absorb some of this heat and raise temperatures on Earth's surface making it suitable for life.
With the enhanced greenhouse effect, human activities, particularly the burning of fossil fuels, are adding more greenhouse gases to the atmospher. This is enhancing the greenhouse effect, trapping more heat and causing global temperatures to rise.
The most common greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide (CO2) so greenhouse gases are often referred to as ‘carbon emissions’.
Changes that are taking place in our climate
The build up of heat in our climate system has already caused substantial changes:
- air and ocean temperatures have increased
- rainfall and snow patterns have changed, and
- extreme weather events such as heatwaves, floods and storms have increased.
Small changes in the Earth’s energy balance can lead to very large changes in the climate due to feedback mechanisms. For example, loss of sea ice in the Arctic Ocean uncovers more dark water that absorbs more heat that leads to a greater loss of sea ice.
Warming of only a few degrees doesn’t seem like much, but a change in the global average air temperature of more than a few degrees will mean that we will see weather events that we have never seen before. In fact, the difference in global average air temperature between an ice age and a warm period in recent Earth history is only 5 to 6 degrees Celsius.
Visit the Climate Council for further information on latest climate change research and monitoring.