What is climate change?

The term climate change describes the phenomenon of the global warming of the air temperature, the earth’s surface and the oceans due to human (anthropogenic) influences. Climate change is caused by the emission of greenhouse gases, in particular, carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) (greenhouse effect).

Because of climate change, weather extremes such as droughts and torrential rains occur more often. These phenomena should be expected all over the world. However, the effects in Africa and Asia are particularly strong. This means, for example, that changing precipitation and temperature patterns could, among other things, lead to crops failing. Also, glaciers and the polar caps are melting as a result of global warming. The sea levels are rising steadily as a result of the increased amount of water, threatening coastal regions and islands in particular.

In December 2015, the 21st Climate Conference, at which the follow-up agreement to the Kyoto Protocol was negotiated, took place. This agreement aims to limit global warming caused by climate change to a maximum of two degrees in comparison to pre-industrial times, and to bring the net emissions of greenhouse gases in the second half of this century down to zero.

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Data tables

For some select map layers, the information portal ‘War and Peace’ provides the user with all used data sets as tables.

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Magnifying Glass in front of a Boston map

Country portraits

In the country reports, data and information are collected by country and put into tables that are used in the modules as a basis for maps and illustrations.

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Compass with Mirror

Navigation and operation

The information and data of each module are primarily made available as selectable map layers and are complemented by texts and graphs. The map layers can be found on the right hand side and are listed according to themes and sub-themes.

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