Climate change is one of the most challenging global issues that humankind faces. The earth average surface temperature has risen 0.9 degree since the pre-industrial time with most of the warming occurred in the past 35 years. 2019 was the second warmest year after 2016 since 1880, year were modern measurement records began.
The basic chemistry and physics of climate change have been understood for more than a century and effects already well documented: oceans are warming, Arctic sea ice is rapidly decreasing, Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets are retreating as well as glaciers, sea level is rising, to name some.
Human activities are estimated to have caused the temperature increase since pre-industrial time and global warming is projected to increase if substantial and sustained actions to reduce the human impact are not taken soon. While the Paris Agreement brings all nations into the common goal to combat climate change, since 2008 the European Union adopted packages of climate and energy actions to mitigate climate change and now it is committed to becoming climate-neutral by 2050, first in the world.
Elisabetta Vignati is a physicist by training graduated at University of Milan, with a PhD in Geophysics obtained at Copenhagen University. Through more than 20 years of her carrier in atmospheric science Elisabetta Vignati worked mainly in developing and applying atmospheric models with the purpose of evaluating the impact of human activities on air quality and climate and is (co-)author of about 60 articles published in peer reviewed journals. She joint the European Commission Joint Research Centre in 1999 and is the Head of Air and Climate Unit of the Directorate for Energy, Transport and Climate. Her unit aims to provide integrated analysis in support of European Union air quality and climate policies.