BBC documentary: Climate Change by Numbers

If you want to know more about the maths behind climate change predictions here is a very good BBC documentary that goes a long way to make it understandable:


From the BBC website:

At the heart of the climate change debate is a paradox – we’ve never had more information about our changing climate, yet surveys show that the public are, if anything, getting less sure they understand what’s going on.

This programme gives a new perspective on the whole subject. Presented by three mathematicians – Dr Hannah Fry, Prof Norman Fenton and Prof David Spiegelhalter – it hones in on just three key numbers that clarify all the important questions around climate change.  The three numbers are:


  • 85 degrees (the amount of warming the planet has undergone since 1880)
  • 95 per cent (the degree of certainty climate scientists have that at least half the recent warming is man-made)
  • 1 trillion tonnes (the total amount of carbon we can afford to burn – ever – in order to stay below ‘dangerous levels’ of climate change)


Understanding how scientists came up with these three numbers gives a unique perspective on what we know about the past, present and future of our changing climate. Watch the programme here: