Sir David Attenborough is to present an “urgent” new documentary about climate change, looking at the potential threats to our planet and the possible solutions.
In the one-off film for BBC One, which comes after one of the hottest years on record, the naturalist and broadcaster says “conditions have changed far faster” than he ever imagined when first talking about the impact of climate change 20 years ago.
Climate Change – The Facts will air in the spring and will include footage showing the devastating impact global warming has already had, as well as interviews with a number of climatologists and meteorologists.
Scientists including Dr James Hansen, Dr Michael Mann and Professor Catherine Mitchell will explore the science behind the extreme weather conditions of recent years, which has seen severe storms and massive wildfires.
They will also discuss the accelerating rate at which the world’s ice is melting, causing the sea level to rise, and how deforestation is worsening the problem by adding to CO2 in the atmosphere.
The BBC said the film will “deliver an unflinching exploration of what dangerous levels of climate change could mean for human populations, what is likely to happen if global warming exceeds 1.5 degrees, and if major reductions in CO2 emissions are not made in the next decade”.
Sir David says in the documentary: “It may sound frightening but the scientific evidence is that if we have not taken dramatic action within the next decade, we could face irreversible damage to the natural world and the collapse of our societies.
“We’re running out of time but there’s still hope… I believe that if we better understand the threat we face, the more likely it is that we can avoid such a catastrophic future.”
Charlotte Moore, BBC director of content, said: “There is a real hunger from audiences to find out more about climate change and understand the facts. So it feels right to address the issue in peak on BBC One.
“We have a trusted guide in Sir David Attenborough, who will be speaking to the challenging issues that it raises, and presenting an engaging and informative look at one of the biggest issues of our time.”
Tom McDonald, head of commissioning, natural history and specialist factual, said: “This is an urgent, important and timely film which lays out in detail the impact that climate change is having on our planet.
“This documentary continues our commitment to telling the most significant environmental stories and reflecting the speed at which our world is changing.”