News Release

Climate change: Leopoldina factsheet sheds light on causes, consequences and possible actions

Reports and Proceedings


Why is swift action to protect the climate so important and what is the scientific basis for calculations on causes and consequences of climate change? The Leopoldina explains this in its "Factsheet Climate change: causes, consequences and possible actions". In the first two chapters of this publication, the currently available knowledge about the causes and consequences of climate change has been summarized in an easy-to-understand format. The connections and data are illustrated in graphics, with concise explanations.

The factsheet is divided into three sections: causes, consequences and possible actions. In the chapter "Causes of climate change", phenomena such as the greenhouse effect are explained and the development of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations in the course of earth's history is described, along with the speed of human-induced global warming. The chapter "Consequences of climate change" covers topics such as extreme weather events, the rising sea level, drought and the consequences of climate change for health and food security. The role of tipping points in the climate system is also explained.

Previously agreed emissions reductions are discussed in the chapter "Measures to counteract climate change". Other topics include technologies for "negative emissions", carbon pricing, natural carbon sinks such as soils, forests and oceans as well as the distribution of the remaining emission budget as a political and ethical issue.

The factsheet has been published at the following link:

About the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina
As the German National Academy of Sciences, the Leopoldina provides independent science-based policy advice on matters relevant to society. To this end, the Academy develops interdisciplinary statements based on scientific findings. In these publications, options for action are outlined; making decisions, however, is the responsibility of democratically legitimised politicians. The experts who prepare the statements work in a voluntary and unbiased manner. The Leopoldina represents the German scientific community in the international academy dialogue. This includes advising the annual summits of Heads of State and Government of the G7 and G20 countries. With 1,600 members from more than 30 countries, the Leopoldina combines expertise from almost all research areas. Founded in 1652, it was appointed the National Academy of Sciences of Germany in 2008. The Leopoldina is committed to the common good.

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