Many people consider climate change and global warming the greatest environmental challenges facing the world today. These issues affect everyone in the world but the good news is that everyone in the world can be a part of the solution if they so desire. Make sure that you do your part by swotting up on climate change and global warming, and committing yourself to a lifestyle that reduces these concerns.
What are Climate Change and Global Warming?
Climate change and global warming are pretty much exactly what they say. Climate change is literally a change in the climate of a given area, including changes in its average temperatures, wind patterns and amounts of rainfall. One of the results of climate change is that temperatures are rising all over the world, which is known as global warming. In fact, the ten hottest years ever recorded have all occurred since 1990, and experts predict that in the next century average temperatures around the world could rise as much as an average of 5.8oC.
What Causes Climate Change and Global Warming?
While politicians around the world wrangle about the causes of climate change and global warming, scientists know that when greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide and methane are released into the atmosphere they contribute to the problem. The United Nations has attempted to limit these harmful gases with the Kyoto Protocol, a set of guidelines that asks countries to meet a target of reduce greenhouse gases to a level that will not interfere with the climate or cause further change. Since signing the Kyoto Protocol, the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions have indeed been reduced, but there is still a long way to go.
How are Climate Change and Global Warming Affecting the UK?
The UK is in the enviable position of not being relatively well protected from their effects of climate change and global warming, but we have been and will continue to experience warmer year round temperatures, more rainfall in the winter and less in the summer, less snow in the winter, and higher surrounding sea levels that could lead to flooding in coastal areas. Unfortunately many areas of the world are not so well off and remain vulnerable to effects such as floods and droughts that will drastically alter their lifestyles and food supplies.
What Can We Do to Limit Climate Change and Global Warming?
The UK government has already taken a big step by agreeing to, and carrying through on, reducing greenhouse gas emission levels but we still have a target of a 20% reduction by the year 2010. Call or write to your MP and state your support for such a reduction, as well as urge them to back a law that will require greenhouse gas reductions each year.
At home, turn off lights and unplug electrical equipment when not in use. Reduce the number of spray products you use for personal care, and recycle as many items as you can everyday. When you travel, try to use trains, boats or efficient cars and fly as rarely as possible to limit the carbon emissions from planes. If you find yourself with a little extra time on your hands, put together a fund-raiser for charities and organizations fighting climate change and global warming such as Oxfam, Friends of the Earth and the Climate Outreach and Information Network. With a little creativity there will be no stopping you!
Climate change and global warming are serious issues affecting everyone on Earth. Educate yourself about climate change and global warming, and the ways in which you can reduce your own contributions, and then pass along all that you have learned. The world is literally depending upon it.