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Information » Environment » Conservation and Environment » Climate Change

  • Climate change is something which might seem remote from your everyday life, but it is affects everyone right now

What is happening?

  • Many of the effects of climate change are happening now - from forest fires to flash floods, hurricanes to growing deserts, and in general the weather will become more extreme

  • Experts predict that temperatures will rise by between 2°C and 5°C in the next 100 years

  • Rising temperatures are transforming our landscape - the Sahara desert is growing at a rate of 1.5 million hectares a year

  • Animals and plants, which are not able to adapt quickly enough to their changing environments, may be affected by rising temperatures. Some scientists think that there will be a wide-scale extinction of many species

  • Water shortages across the UK mean we will have to reassess the large quantities of water we use - hosepipe bans and drought warnings are likely to increase in the future

  • The floods that have affected this country in recent years, such as the one at Boscastle in Cornwall, will probably increase as rainfall becomes more intense. Flash floods and landslides may strike with very little warning and pose major threats to homes and businesses

Why is it happening?

  • Most people agree that these changes in climate are due to human activities, including the burning of fossil fuels which increases greenhouse gases

  • The greenhouse effect refers to the layers of gases that make up a protective layer around the earth. Without these gases life on earth could not continue, but as carbon dioxide emissions have risen, the layer has become thicker, trapping more of the sun's energy and raising world temperatures

What can you do?

  • There are many simple steps you can take to help stop the effects of climate change. It may not seem like you can do much by yourself, but the more everyone does as individuals, the greater the effect

  • Support recycling schemes in your area - all sorts of materials such as paper, plastics, tins and cardboard can be recycled

  • Ask yourself if you need to use all the energy that you do. If you leave your phone charger plugged in it uses as much electricity as it does when it's charging your phone.

  • Remembering to turn the lights off after you leave a room, and turning the TV and stereo off standby will also save energy

  • Even if you feel like you can't do much to directly change the situation yourself, you can put pressure on people who can. If you feel strongly about any issue, not just on climate change, you can write to your MP and ask if they can do something about it

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