The Royal Society undertakes a wide range of activities with relation to climate change, acting to help ensure that the best possible evidence is available to inform policymaker decisions. This programme of activities draws on the expertise of Fellows of the Royal Society, and wider community, to deliver a number of projects in this field.
Human emissions over the last two centuries have altered the composition of the Earth’s atmosphere. As a result, more of the Sun’s heat is retained warming the ocean and the atmosphere. Global mean surface temperature is now about 1 °C higher than that in the late 19th century and is expected to increase further in the future, with the trajectory dependent on human activity on emissions. To understand climate change requires an understanding of the physical processes involved, the impact those changes might have on the planet and ecosystems in it, and how humanity responds, either through mitigation (e.g. emissions reduction) or adaptation (e.g. implementing coastal protection).