Saturday, 5 December 2015

Post 371 - Chaotic Climate Change

Hey everyone - well I'm going to change my titles to Post rather than Day as I'm not going them daily now so today is post 371. By the way I've done this post on an iPhone so it may look different to usual.

A female Mallard looking at us through a rain covered window at breakfast
Well this weekend I had hoped to bring you a post about a lovely ramble around the fabulous RSPB Leighton Moss. I am in the Lake District but I've not got far as there is a Red Weather alert for this part of the country, you may see some pictures on the news about how rainy it is. Most of the roads around us are flooded and I'm in a hotel wondering what to do. Instead of Christmas shopping and nature hunting I'm looking out of a window at a very grey rainy Lake District.

The news said this is storm Desmond. Storms have only just started to be named in the UK, storm Abigail only happened on November 16th, so we've had four storms worth naming since then. This together with the Climate Change talks in Paris got me thinking. So I looked into climate change (glad the hotel Wifi is working) and here's what I found:

  • The basic cause is increases in Carbon Dioxide in the atmosphere. In 1960 CO2 levels were about 315 parts per million, now they are about 400. There has been a 30% rise in CO2 levels since the industrial revolution.

  • This is changing the weather. In the UK 9 out of the 10 hottest years on record have been since 2000! 
  • All the extra CO2 is causing temperatures to rise as the CO2 traps more of the suns energy in the atmosphere. The Climate change talks are about trying to keep temperarture rises below 2 degrees C.
  • Since 1979 there has been a decrease in arctic sea ice of 4% per decade 
  • Scientists have been looking at why this is happening and they nearly all seem to think it is because of human activity.
  • There are a few, called climate change sceptics, that don't believe it's down to humans but that it's a natural effect.
  • There are about 150 World leaders in Paris talking about this so that seems to say to me that they are convinced humans are having an effect.
  • The main source of extra carbon in the atmosphere seems to be down to human use of fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas.
  • The UK isn't very good at using non fossil fuels for energy - in 2011 we still generated 71% of our electricity from fossil fuels.
  •  At the talks in Paris they are making promises to use less fossil fuels. Rich countries like the UK have started to change to other methods of generating electric like wind power, solar power and nuclear power. The Government has said it will shut coal power stations by 2023.
  • At the Paris talks the world leaders are also trying to work out how to help poorer countries use less coal as renewable power generation is more expensive.
  • I really hope they come up with plans that make a difference as Climate Change is affecting us all and especially wildlife.
  • Not only are Arctic species like the Polar Bear at risk but our UK wildlife is also suffering. 500 native species have been lost in the last 200 years according to the Wildlife Trusts.
  • in my blogs I've noticed how species are spreading further north over time.
  • One of the impacts of climate change and the planet warming is more extreme weather events, just like Storm Desmond!

So, it doesn't look great for us and wildlife unless we start to help. What should we be doing?

  • Well at primary school they taught us a really good thing - we should all try to use less 'stuff' and if we do use 'stuff' we should reduce, reuse and recycle what we do use.
  • We can change our electricity suppliers to companies that generate from renewable resources.
  • Using our cars less, flying less, eating less meat, using energy efficient products are all ways to reduce our carbon footprint too!
  • I think we also need to keep writing to our MP's too to tell them we are concerned and what them to do things to help reduce CO2. A lot of what the Government has done lately isn't helping, see the link to the last article below.
Well I hope that was interesting - you may all be seeing a lot about it in the news this week, but sitting in a hotel all day as storm Desmond has stopped us going anywhere it seemed a good time to research all this.

Home safe and dry now, luckier than a lot of people. I hope those affected get sorted out soon. Here's a few links to more information.

Hope you found this interesting, I'll certainly be doing more to help reduce climate change after this experience.



  1. It's flooded a lot around here in Cumbria. I live on the coast so we've had high winds and heavy rain all day but not much flooding, however I know that Kendal, Keswick and Appleby here have been hit really badly. Hope you're managing to stay warm Zach! Love the shot of the duck, and you raised a great message here too! - Tasha

  2. Back now Tasha, so much of Cumbria that we saw was under water. Glad we were in a dry warm hotel.