Global warming is happening fast
The global climate is currently changing faster than at any time over the last 10,000 years. Average global temperatures have risen by 0.74 degrees centigrade (ºC) over the last 100 years. This global warming has been particularly pronounced since the early 1990s, and is thought to be largely due to the intensification of the greenhouse effect as increasing amounts of carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases are released into the atmosphere.
The majority of scenarios made for the future climate assume continued growth in CO2 emissions for most of the 21st century. Atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases will thus continue to rise. The effects of this are calculated to an increase of 1.1-6.4°C from 1990 to 2100 of the world's mean temperature.
A warming of this magnitude, together with subsequent changes in precipitation, sea level and storm frequency, is likely to have severe effects on both the natural environment and human societies.
Warming in Finland is even faster
The temperature in Finland is expected to rise even more than the world's average. The Finnish climate has warmed by about 0.7°C during the 20th century and new scenarios indicate that a mean annual warming of between 3°C and 7°C in combination with increased annual precipitation of 13% to 26% can be expected by year 2100.
It is impossible to prevent climate change altogether, since the warming effect of many of the greenhouse gas pollutants already released into the atmosphere will persist for hundreds of years, regardless of whether future emissions can be curbed. But, we should be able to limit the extent of climate change by curbing greenhouse gas emissions so that global warming does not result in irreparable damage. We should also adapt our activities in various ways to cope with the effects of a changing climate.