Proving that the climate has been on a warming trend since the 1850s

Why the climate has been warming consistently since 1850 must be the first thing you need to know before taking action.

This week’s issue is devoted to climate change. The stripes on our cover, developed by Ed Hawkins of the University of Reading, represent the period from 1850 to 2018. The colour marks each year’s temperature, compared with the average in 1971-2000. We have found that, whether it is in Democratic politics or Russian dreams of opening an Arctic sea passage, climate now touches on everything we write about. To illustrate this, we decided to weave articles on the climate crisis and what can be done about it into all parts of this week’s coverage. As our main leader explains, because the processes that force climate change are built into the foundations of the world economy and of geopolitics, measures to check climate change have to be similarly wide-ranging and all-encompassing. To decarbonise an economy is not a simple subtraction; it requires a near-complete overhaul.
 Zanny Minton Beddoes, Editor-in-Chief

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