Are We Changing Planet Earth?

Wednesday 24 May, 9pm, BBC One
David Attenborough draws on his life-long insights into our planet and presents his personal take on climate change.
Climate Chaos season begins on Wednesday 24 May. Part two follows next week.





Climate Chaos season - Details of all programmes in the BBC Climate Chaos season



Songs of Praise

Sunday 28 May, TBC, BBC One
Sally Magnusson visits an environmental project in Oxford that has made a real difference to the local community, and meets with historian and environmentalist, Martin Palmer.


Test the Nation - Know Your Planet

Sunday 28 May, 8pm, BBC One
Are you aware of climate and environmental issues? We put the country to the test in the popular quiz show.


Can We Save Planet Earth?

Wednesday 31 May, 9pm, BBC One
Part two of David Attenborough's investigation.


Five Disasters Waiting to Happen

Thursday 1 June, 9pm, BBC Two
We examine five global locations and scenarios: London, Shanghai, Mumbai, Paris and Tuvalu. All have been identified by experts as vulnerable to the effects of climate change.


The Money Programme

Friday 2 June, 7pm, BBC Two
The Money Programme spends a week with a family in Teeside - the worst area in the country for environmental awareness, according to a recent survey.



Date and time TBC, BBC One
The Bush administration has resisted calls to engage in Kyoto, and has been accused of a systematic campaign of disinformation and harassment against the scientific community - gagging scientists, re-writing major reports, and allowing the oil and coal industries to drive policy. Panorama investigates these claims.



About the experiment climate change

Climate change on the web

Your starting point to finding reliable information about climate change on the web.



Watch the BBC Four programmes online

Watch films from 'Climate Chaos'

Eight short films showing the effects of climate change around the world.
(For legal reasons this is only available in the UK).



Guide to climate change BBC News

Guide to climate change

How does the greenhouse effect work? What's the evidence for climate change? Quiz: How much of an eco-warrior are you?
Also: Browse the latest climate change news



Climate change on the web Open University 2 Net

Open University on climate change

It's harder to measure temperature than you might have thought. Find out the challenges of climate science and the economic impacts of possible futures.




David Attenborough's personal journey to discover the state of the planet leads a fortnight of programmes on climate change from the BBC. 




As part of our Climate Chaos season we are showing eight short films dealing with climate change around the world. The films will be available here the day after they are broadcast. 





Climate change Experiment  - Find out how to donate your spare computing power and take part in the world's largest climate change experiment.



Monday, 30 January 2006 - By Richard Black Environment Correspondent, BBC News



Rising concentrations of greenhouse gases may have more serious impacts than previously believed, a major scientific report has said.


The report, published by the UK government, says there is only a small chance of greenhouse gas emissions being kept below "dangerous" levels. It fears the Greenland ice sheet is likely to melt, leading sea levels to rise by 7m (23ft) over 1,000 years. The poorest countries will be most vulnerable to these effects, it adds.


The report, Avoiding Dangerous Climate Change, collates evidence presented by scientists at a conference hosted by the UK Meteorological Office in February 2005. The conference set two principal objectives: to ask what level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is too much, and what the options are for avoiding such a level.

In the report's foreword, UK Prime Minister Tony Blair writes that "it is now plain that the emission of greenhouse gases... is causing global warming at a rate that is unsustainable." Environment Secretary Margaret Beckett said the report's conclusions would be a shock to many people. "The thing that is perhaps not so familiar to members of the public... is this notion that we could come to a tipping point where change could be irreversible," she told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

"We're not talking about it happening over five minutes, of course, maybe over a thousand years, but it's the irreversibility that I think brings it home to people." 



Ice caps melting


Ice caps melting



Vulnerable ecosystems


The report sets out the effects of various levels of temperature increase.

The European Union (EU) has adopted a target of preventing a rise in global average temperature of more than two degrees Celsius. But that, according to the report, might be too high, with two degrees perhaps enough to trigger melting of the Greenland ice sheet. This would have a major impact on sea levels globally, though it would take up to 1,000 years to see the full predicted rise of 7m. Above two degrees, says the report, the risks increase "very substantially", with "potentially large numbers of extinctions" and "major increases in hunger and water shortage risks... particularly in developing countries".



'Without delight'


The report asked scientists to calculate which greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere would be enough to cause these "dangerous" temperature increases.

Currently, the atmosphere contains about 380 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide, the principal greenhouse gas of concern, compared to levels before the industrial revolution of about 275ppm. To have a good chance of achieving the EU's two-degree target, levels should be stabilised at 450ppm or below, the report concludes.


But, speaking on Today, the UK government's chief scientific adviser, Sir David King, said that was unlikely to happen. "We're going to be at 400 ppm in 10 years' time, I predict that without any delight in saying it," he said. "But no country is going to turn off a power station which is providing much-desired energy for its population to tackle this problem - we have to accept that. "To aim for 450 (ppm) would, I am afraid, seem unfeasible."

But Myles Allen, a lecturer on atmospheric physics at Oxford University, said assessing a "safe level" of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere was "a bit like asking a doctor what's a safe number of cigarettes to smoke per day". "There isn't one, but at the same time people do smoke and live until they're 90," he told Today. On the other question asked at the 2005 conference - what are the options for avoiding dangerous concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere? - the report says that technological options to reduce emissions do exist. It concludes that the biggest obstacles to the take up of technologies such as renewable sources of energy and "clean coal" lie in vested interests, cultural barriers to change and simple lack of awareness.




Some Like it Hotter: Chris Gibson

Naturalist Chris Gibson talks about the new arrivals to the Essex coast, attracted by our recently milder climate.

Snow Patrol: Pete Collins

Pete Collins, who checks weather conditions for Lake District walkers, talks about the climate changes he's witnessed.

Killer Lakes: John Reynolds

Having nearly been killed by one, John Reynolds explains how glacial lake outburst floods are becoming an increasing hazard.

Corking Sunshine: Richard Selley

Professor Richard Selley explains his discovery of how wine-making has followed the pattern of climate change.

Glacial Retreat: Heidi Gamma

A Swiss skier reveals a glacier near her home which has sunk 15 metres in the last few decades.

Savage Heat: Yve Taylor

Yve and Richard Taylor tell of the devastation caused by the 2003 French heatwave, in which they lost everything.

Northern Melt: Kari Herbert

Returning to the Arctic, Kari Herbert is shocked to discover how the ice has changed.

Shifting Shoals: Doug Hirdson

Doug Hirdson from the National Marine Aquarium records the increase of warm-water fish into UK seas.













Greenland ice sheet melt extent


Greenland ice sheet melt extent







Healthier alternative tastes for adventure capitalists




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