Climate change is a problem now, not in the future
Many people think disruptive climate change is a future problem, but it is here now, warns Midlands energy expert Ron Fox.
Action is needed urgently, he said, after scientists presented their latest UK State of the Climate report which said:
- 2020 was the third warmest, eighth sunniest and fifth wettest year on record. No other year is in the top 10 on all three criteria. Also, six of the ten wettest years have been since 1998.
- Spring 2020 was the sunniest on record and warmer than most UK summers.
- Levels of atmospheric CO2 and methane hit all-time highs in 2021.
- Within 30 years the UK has become 0.9C warmer and 6 per cent wetter.
- More than five million homes are now at risk of flooding and that figure is rising as the climate changes.
- Already plants are responding to the change – spring appeared with leaves arriving on average 10.4 days earlier and autumn trees went bare on average 4.3 days earlier.
“If we limit the global temperature rise to 1.5C, which experts think looks unlikely, we will see temperatures of 40C on a regular basis,” said Ron, of Noreus Ltd on the University of Keele Science and Innovation Park in North Staffordshire. “If we don’t there will be worse extreme weather if global temperatures rise and carbon emissions are not cut.
“Many people don’t realise that even a small increase can make a big difference with some roads melting, rails and electric cables starting to buckle in the heat and with up to ten per cent more in the amount of water the air can hold, so there will be more flooding.”
Ron said although the floods risk cannot be removed, it can be reduced by making communities more resilient to flooding.
This has led to the Government making its biggest investment yet in this area with £5.2bn for 2,000 new defence schemes over the next six years.
Meanwhile, more than 14,000 scientists have repeated calls for urgent action to tackle the climate emergency with an article published in the journal BioScience. They say the main problem is that governments have failed to address “the over-exploitation of the earth”.
They want everyone to reduce emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) gases by moving away from a dependence on fossil fuels, improve energy efficiency in the home, industry and in transport, plus removing CO2 from the atmosphere.
Other recommendations include reducing pollutants, restoring eco-systems, switching to plant-based diets and stabilising the human population.
“These are all sensible proposals, which must be done mainly by world governments,” said Ron. “But there is one move that must be done by individuals, and that is improving the efficiency in their homes.
He concluded: “Hopefully, with the extreme weather recently it will raise the will worldwide to tackle these problems.”
For more information on cutting the carbon footprint in your home call Ron on 0845 474 6641.
Caption: Climate change has had an effect already on nature with autumn trees losing their leaves on average 4.3 days earlier now.