Climate change generally refers to the warming of the planet due to the human induced increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide are released into the atmosphere through processes including the burning of fossil fuels (e.g. coal and oil) in cars and power stations, burying household waste and processing sewage.
Carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere have risen from around 280 parts per million prior to the industrial revolution through to 400 parts per million today. This has corresponded with a rise in the global average temperature.
While impacts so far have been small, the more temperatures increase, the greater the impacts will be.