Climate change

The climate is changing constantly: volcano eruptions and forest fires have a big influence on the CO2 levels in the atmosphere. Until 1950, natural causes were the most influential factors on climate change. After 1950, the course of the average world temperature can only be explained by accounting for human influences.

The average world temperature rises due to the increase in greenhouse gasses, but there are also other effects of climate change: changes in precipitation patterns and more extreme weather. The Netherlands is likely to experience more precipitation in winter, and less precipitation in summer combined with more, longer, and more intensive heat waves and a rising sea level.

Wageningen University & Research does not only study this change, but also investigates the causes and develops new technologies to deal with the consequences of climate change.

Causes of climate change

Climate change is caused by an increase of greenhouse gasses. Greenhouse gasses do not only consist of CO2, but also of methane (CH4), nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ozone (03), and water vapour. These gasses originate from different processes: CO2 is created during combustion (for example in a combustion engine) and methane is for example created during digestion (for example by livestock).

More information about the causes of climate change

Consequences of climate change

The most well-known effects of climate change is global warming. However, there are also other effects: animals in nature change their rhythm which could cause mismatches. Countries will have to deal with new diseases, for example vector borne diseases which are spread through insects which spread further north. New diseases could not only affect humans, but also food security as farmers will have to deal with new exotic diseases due to climate change.

More information about the consequences of climate change

Top 30 articles about climate change

Wageningen University & Research Library selected 30 titles about climate change. Or visit the small exhibition in the Forum Library.

Or read Elsevier's Virtual Special Issue of Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability.

Overview tailor-made Wageningen Climate Solutions

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Video: What is essential for transparency under the Paris Agreement?

On Thursday, 10 November 2016, the event “What is essential for transparency under the Paris Agreement?” took place at the Marrakech Climate Change Conference (COP22). This video by IISD Reporting Services highlights the role of different actors and rules for transparency and accountability related to forests and land use mitigation and adaptation. Prof Martin Herold and Niki de Sy, both from Wageningen University, participated in the discussions. They also published a policy brief with CIFOR that was presented at this event.