- What is Climate Change
- Causes of Climate Change in UK
- Natural Causes of Climate Changе
- Man-Made Causes of Climate Changе in UK
- Effects of Climate Change in The UK
- Climate Change Facts in UK
- How to Prevent Climate Change in England
- How to Prevent Climate Change at Home
- Climate Change Adaptation in United Kingdom
- Climate Change Adaptation Conference in UK
- Climate Change For Kids
You can read many different climate change definitions, most of them too scientific but this is how the Rubbish Begone team explains it: Every single place around the world has its specific climate characteristics. For example here in England carrying an umbrella is important if you want to stay dry during the day, while people in Miami, FL use it only to hide from the sun.
What is Climate Change
As you know climate on Earth is different. Depends on your location, climate zone and its description (how many seasons and type of the season). The earth’s climate has constantly been changing over an indefinite period of time. Weather conditions can become warmer or cooler. Besides in the temperatures, the change might be in how much rain or snow falls at a certain place per month, season or a year. Today the climate is getting warmer more rapidly than in the past. Therefore, scientists are concerned about the variability in the weather pattern. Based on researches, the global warming process is human-induced and has serious implication for the stability of Earth’s atmospheric conditions.
Causes of Climate Change in the UK
Many other things besides humans can cause the climate to change on its own. If a volcano erupts, this may become a reason for a huge change in our climate. Solar Output, Orbital Shifts and Continental Drift are variations – considered too long-term, however, while they do affect the planet’s energy input, do not really have a noticeable effect on the huge climate changes that have occurred during human kind’s existence.
Natural Causes of Climate Changе
- Water Vapor – NASA confirmed Water Vapor is a major global warming player. Greenhouse gases raise temperatures by trapping the Earth’s radiant heat inside the atmosphere. The scientists from NASA proved this warming also increases the accumulation of atmospheric water vapour, the most abundant greenhouse gases. The atmospheric moisture process traps additional radiant heat and further increases temperatures.
- Sunspots – Sunspots are storms on the sun’s surface that are marked by intense magnetic activity and play host to solar flares and hot gassy ejections from the sun’s corona. Scientists believe sunspots are increasing the global temperature, because of their ability to restrict the passing of solar plasma, which in effect gives off radiation.
Sunspots and solar flares can change the energy radiating into the Earth’s atmosphere which increases the climate temperature. Being a naturally occurring event for millions of years, sunspots are not the only one to blame. If so the world’s recent increased temperature would barely move.
- Natural Forest Fires – Forest Fires have a significant impact on climate change. It really depends on what kind of tree species are burning according to their carbon storage. In fact, the most carbon-laden trees are those with high-density wood and large trunk diameters.
The natural devastation of huge areas with trees emits carbon-filled smoke into the atmosphere. Аs a result it becomes harder to provide the much-needed oxygen into the climate circle. Despite that people deal with the burning forests, polluting gases remain in the ashes trapped in the atmosphere.
- Permafrost – Permafrost refers to a layer of soil or rock that is frozen all year round. About 25% of the Northern Hemisphere is frozen soil ground. As the temperature rises, so does the temperature of the ground which can cause permafrost to thaw.
The frozen soil keeps in carbon and methane gases. When the permafrost melts the carbon leaks into the Earth’s atmosphere in the form of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. This process leads to more climate change and is an example of a positive feedback loop which happens when warming causes changes that lead to even higher warmings.
Man-Made Causes of Climate Changе in the UK
- Pollution – pollution is a man-made phenomenon and is the major contributor to climate change. There are many types of pollution such as water, air, soil, land pollution and they are all a result of releasing a high quantity of gases into the atmosphere.
- Deforestation – by cutting trees people cause a deficit of oxygen which in turn causes changes in the weather conditions. Replenishing trees is important! A single fully-grown-tree can suffice your life long needs of tree products!
- Transportation – the emission of gases from cars, buses, bikes etc. are heating up the lower levels of the atmosphere.
- Agriculture – more and more ranches are raised and cattle is used in agriculture. A notable fact is that dung produces a huge amount of methane gas which is the major contributor in increasing the temperature of the atmosphere!
- Population – the higher the population, the higher is the increase in the amount of burned fossil fuels. The air gets heated due to excessive accumulation of methane and other similar gases of hydrocarbon nature. Methane is produced whenever coal and oil mines are drilled. All these cause the climate to turn into an overheated boiler.
- Waste disposal – one of the biggest problems today is waste management. Most of the waste that can be burned, recycled or upcycled is dumped into landfills. Landfills produce landfill gas, which is a mixture of about half methane and half carbon dioxide.
- Carbon emissions – although the new-build factories are eco-friendly, there are still too many old, smoke puking big chimneys, continuously polluting the environment. It doesn’t matter how much technological advancement this give us as long as it causes an enormous change in the weather pattern.
- Eating meat and exotic foods – The global livestock industry produces more greenhouse gas emissions than all cars, planes, trains and ships combined. Eating food which has travelled a long distance contribute to the increase of greenhouse gas emissions. Consider the fact that the average food product you eat travels over 1000 miles from farm to fork. We can’t force you to become a vegetarian but think about your meat consumption.
- Electricity Usage – Although some of the current power supply is provided through solar and wind energy generation device, it’s highly possible that the electricity you use is generated from coal-burning power plants.
Effects of Climate Change in The UK
Climate change will have far-reaching effects on many aspects of the environment, the economy and society, wildlife (animals), etc. Have a look at some of the most significant effects caused by climate change in the United Kingdom.
What are the Effects of Climate Change in the UK:
- Rise of the sea levels. Due to the warming of the oceans and the permafrost thaw – global average sea level is rising. It’s expected to increase up to 14 cm by 2020.
- Increase in temperatures. Higher temperatures will occur all-year-round, resulting in more heatwaves during the summer and milder, wetter winters.
- Extreme weather events. Weather conditions as heavy rainfall or extremely high temperatures are being seen more frequently from the past.
- Health risks have increased. The population is threatened by more health-related risks. For example, the mosquitoes carrying the disease malaria used only to be found in hot Tropical countries. Now they are spreading further northwards because the warmer climate appeals to them.
- Some good news. Who said the effects of climate change are only negative? Warmer conditions will provide more opportunities for activities outside and could make the UK a more attractive holiday destination for local residents and tourists. Increased tourism is not bad at all.
- More pests and diseases. Well, this also could be good news for a business owner of a pest control company… However warmer temperatures will allow some pests and diseases to spread to different countries. For the UK this could mean milder winters which will result in the survival of more pests.
- Wildlife changes. Some native species are forced to migrate to other regions in order to find more suitable weather conditions. This will be balanced by the influx of foreign species, but the UK wildlife is dramatically altered.
- Disruption to transport and infrastructure. Transport systems and infrastructure will have an increased risk of failure as the systems begin to operate in conditions they were not designed for (e.g. buckling of railway lines, drains overwhelmed by rainfall).
- The frequency of droughts and flooding is increasing. UK water supplies are affected by reduced rainfall during the hotter, drier summers. Milder winters with increased rainfall will result in an increase in the frequency of winter flooding.
Climate Change Facts in the UK
Rubbish Begone’s team have created an infographic for some of the most terrifying facts about climate change, not only in England but around the world as well.
How to Prevent Climate Change in England
Preventing climate change is a long and tough process which requires solid dedication and sacrifice. The process of leaving a giant carbon footprint on the Earth’s face which has continued for decades cannot be reversed in just one day, month or a year. Overall, fighting the climate change not only in the UK but all across the world is connected to completely changing your lifestyle to a type of living which promotes concepts green energy, zero-waste living, water efficiency and more. This won’t be enough though. There are other steps that have to be followed to reach the end of the road called “climate change solution”. Here are some suggestions that will surely help you to make an effort in the right direction if you still wonder how to reduce climate change. Aim for media coverage If there is a message that can help to prevent climate change in any way possible it needs to be communicated properly. Without a media coverage at least on local-level the authorities will not be forced to take action. These 25 ways to spread awareness will help you to become a better communicator who is able to speak more effectively. Always be informed about the most recent climate change news and changes Being aware of what’s happening gives a tremendous amount of opportunities such as: taking part in social activities, raising further awareness, spreading the word to influencers who have the power and ability to reach out to higher authorities. Use eco-friendly transportation for international travels Flying with a plane is considered to be the type of transportation that increases the effects of climate change the most. In case you’ve decided to go green, look for an alternative if there is one. If getting on a plane is your only option, make sure you do it with a public flight instead of having an own plane which is ridiculous when it comes to fighting climate change. For urban transportation use your legs instead of driving a vehicle About 26% of the GHG emissions in the UK in 2013 came from domestic and international transport. The government’s current goal is to reduce this by 34% until 2020 and by 80% until 2050. Turns out improvement in the engines of the vehicles is not enough. The population should take action into reducing the emission through the usage of more eco-friendly transport such as riding a bicycle. Not using your own car and getting the subway is even a great step towards a more sustainable environment. The fewer cars and buses are out there, the better the air we breathe will be. Cutting on meat helps too Join the world meat-free day at least once in your life. One-third of the GHG emissions on Earth come from sources of meat production. In reality, people consume about 2000 calories per day but the business produces food which equals 6000 calories a day per person. Much of it is wasted during the production process which can be reduced according to our demand for meat. The less we need the meat, the less will be produced. Try having at least 1 meat-free meal a day which will both improve your health and will add some diversity to your nutrition. It will also help for lower GHG emissions and climate change may start declining. Make companies pay for producing GHG More than 40 countries across the world have started a preparation to implement carbon taxes. This will force the giant production facilities to adopt a green technology which will cause fewer pollutions. If this is not achieved it will at least pay enough money which will be spent on fighting climate change. It is planned to introduce the taxes for GHG-emitting companies per tonne of carbon dioxide being produced. Energy efficiency and renewable energy It’s no secret the demand for energy is huge and only nuclear power plants are able to fill the gap that is created when it comes to required energy for sustaining whole countries. This process requires a lot of resources like water and produces a huge amount of GHG. 31% of GHG emissions in UK come from energy production. However, for the period of 1990-2014 there’s been a great improvement in terms of reducing the emissions with up to 35% using more sustainable technology. Green energy still remains the best alternative to the standard energy production processes such as nuclear and coal power plants. Solar Aid is one of the leaders in solar energy production and has dedicated a lot of its income and efforts into promoting sustainable energy production that greatly reduces the carbon dioxide footprint on Earth. Fight deforestation Try, at any cost, to preserve the natural resources, especially water and trees. Planting new trees will be of no use if we don’t stop the deforestation process which is devastating and leads to the death of plants which actually save the planet. According to this climate change article in The Guardian, the newly planted trees can fight only about 2-3% of the GHG emissions that are globally produced. In order to handle the rest of the harmful gases we need to preserve the forests we currently have. Green Peace offers plenty of solutions to reduce deforestation. Some of which include: buying only post-consumer content products, reducing the consumption of animal products and educating everyone around about the consequences of allowing deforestation and how each of us has the power to make a change as long as we are informed and actionable. Achieving urban sustainability This is a complex process of creating the perfect mix of low-carbon dioxide emissions from production and transport and other everyday activities in a particular city through the implementation of sustainable strategies. This is what some of the greenest towns did to earn the recognition of being completely sustainable: Bogota – the place with the most efficient transportation. 70% of the city’s population uses local bus services. Future goals are focused on replacing all diesel-based transport with fully sustainable vehicles that run on electricity. Munich – the city that will soon run only on green energy. It’s received a green energy award for the efforts of working towards its final goal of running only on green energy by the end of 2025. So far it has achieved a success of about 40% which is a tremendous improvement. You can read the whole article about urban sustainability and see what other cities have managed to do in the fight with climate change. Geoengineering This is a climate change reduction theory which scientist David Keith works on. His theory is totally awkward but in the same time genius. His work brings a new meaning to the concept of “fighting climate change and global warming”. The scientist has found a way to point back about 1% of the sunlight instead of allowing it to enter into the atmosphere. This can be achieved by aeroplanes flying in the Earth’s lower atmosphere which will disperse sulphur acid that will eventually make contact with water vapour. The result is the formation of sulphur aerosols which are able to spread across the globe. What is special about these particles is that they are able to reflect back light. It’s scientifically possible to turn back at least 1% of the sunlight back and not allow it to enter Earth’s atmosphere. This will greatly reduce the heat inside the balloon we live in. Spread the word about these ways to stop climate change and stick to always being informed about how climate change changes its rates and areas of effect.
How to Prevent Climate Change at Home
All the hard work outside and among the society to reduce the impact of climate change might prove to be useless if nothing is done about it while being at home. Reversing the effects of global warming requires hard work and sacrifice, remember? That’s why you have to keep working on it even when staying at home by following these ways to prevent climate change:
- Save energy at home to help reduce climate change. Try not to leave home appliances on standby mode as they continue to use energy. In addition to this, pay higher attention to heating and cooling appliances such as the air conditioner and always set it to the most energy-efficient mode. Another way to fight global warming while being more eco-friendly at home is to use green energy by placing solar panels on the roof of your house, installing thick insulation along with extra precautions like weather-proofing any garage door, windows and etc. The investment is worth it. In 5 years you’ll start feeling the difference as you will have been paying a lot less each month. Here is everything you should know about getting solar panels at home if living in the UK
- Implement the 3 R’s ( Reduce, Reuse, Recycle). It’s simple, the reduction of waste brings less of it at the landfill which helps for lower emissions of methane, especially from food. It takes 2 years for the plastic waste disposed of in the UK to end up at the Arctic. Here are 10 simple tricks you can try to cut down on the waste being generated at home. There is a thin line between reusing and recycling which can be explained that way: Reusing is when you try to use an item for something different without making any changes to it and without transforming it whereas recycling requires a process of treating the object and transforming it into new raw material which is later used for the production of new items. It’s hard to recycle at home but you can upcycle almost anything by following the advice of DIY artists like Dinah Wulf from DIY inspired.
- Separate your household waste. This will make its recycling way easier which will not lead to emissions from the waste at the landfill. Be more careful with the food waste as most of the CO2 emissions come from its discomposure during which methane is being emitted as well. Separating the rubbish at home is easy with these simple steps but make sure it is being disposed of separately before segregating it. Otherwise, all your efforts will be useless if eventually, it all ends up in the same rubbish truck.
- Optimize your home for water efficiency. The process of treating the water until it meets the quality requirements to be delivered to your home takes a lot of energy and resources. Anything that works to reduce water consumption at home would help to reduce climate change as well. This is by far the most detailed guide on how to use water efficiently while at home.
- Educate everyone at home about climate change. You can do this on a daily basis, it’s not necessary to have a special day for this as it may turn out to be boring. Just stick to the concept of talking about it at breakfast or during gatherings. A nice approach is to make a detailed video lesson and present it to the young members of the family who are not familiar with what climate change is. Do It Green offers a great tip on how to tell your kids about climate change.
Climate Change Adaptation in United Kingdom
Also known as adaptation to global warming, this is a natural process which aims at making the biological and social system on our planet more resilient to the increased temperatures due to climate change. Adaptation to climate change is crucial because even if we achieve success to reduce the sources of climate change, its effects will last much longer, thus all living creatures have to become more adaptive to everything that has changed including temperatures, pollution and changes in the biosystem.
Climate Change Adaptation Examples in the United Kingdom
There are many examples of what climate change adaptation looks like and most of them are seen regularly but hardly anyone takes notice or makes a conclusion from it. There’s been a coastal realignment under the Essex Wildlife Trust. This has led to the loss of 84 ha of completely arable farmland in order to provide sea defences from the coming water. Climate change is believed to be the reason for floods in the UK which has forced immediate maintenance of the Thames Barrier. Climate Change Risk Assessment There is a UK Climate Change Risk Assessment whose purpose is to evaluate the risks and opportunities from climate change in the UK. The highest threat is considered to be flooded, pressure on water resources and risks to health due to extremely hot summers and damage to the ecosystem. National Adaptation Programme Basically this is the government’s long term project for the fight with climate change. The first programme of this type was published in 2013 and its main purpose still remains to be the spreading of awareness and taking action of long-lead measures. You can read the whole National Climate Change Adaptation Programme for more information. UK Adaptation Reporting Power This grants the Secretary of State in the UK the authority to require reports from public organizations on what measures they have taken to adapt to climate change. During the first round, about 90 organizations filed in reports on their attempt to adapt to global warming. There is even a climate change adaptation strategy you can follow to achieve higher success rates for your report in case your organizations are required to file one.
Climate Change Adaptation Conference in the UK
The next conference on climate change adaptation in the UK will be held at Westminster, London on 25th October 2016. There will be 15 speakers and 100 delegates who will discuss the future impact and measures that can be taken in terms of global warming adaptation. A number of studies that are supposed to promote sustainable communities and economies. Here are more details on how to book a place in the climate change adaptation conference.
Climate Change For Kids
Explaining the climate change to your kids requires a specific approach. Don’t use complex terminology. Instead, try to explain carefully to the grown-ups that the life of people at the moment requires the use of resources which harm the planet and this is bad. Don’t skip explaining to them how this can be reduced and what their role in the whole process is. Try to emphasize on the fact that they are those who are more significant and valuable because they of their future involvement in activities towards fighting climate change even if they like it or not. These are the following basic processes that lead to climate change and need to be explained carefully to the kids. Use the resources from Eschool Today which has created some amazing graphic content on climate change for kids:
- Greenhouse Effect and How it Works
- What Causes Climate Change
- Effects of Climate Change
- Prevention of Climate Change
When it is all explained, try to make your kids take some action by doing fun activities towards reducing climate change.