Climate change affects us all
Together we can combat climate change in Lancaster district.
What causes climate change?
Climate change is caused when the earth’s temperature rises due to an increase of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2), methane and hydrofluorocarbons in the atmosphere.
Greenhouse gases occur naturally in the earth’s atmosphere but scientists agree that the temperature of the earth has significantly increased in the last 150 years since humans began to extract and burn fossil fuels at a much faster rate.
There is no longer any scientific debate over the fact that climate change is happening; the only doubt which remains regarding climate change is the extent of its impacts.
How will it impact Lancaster district?
Climate models suggest that without committed action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions the weather in Europe by 2040 will be akin to that of the UK heat wave of summer 2003.
The UK Climate Impacts Programme predicts that by 2020 winter temperatures will increase by as much as 1.2°C and summer temperatures by 1.5°C. By 2050 the North West of England will have an average of 18% less annual rainfall (with a maximum reduction of 36%) and an average temperature increase of 2ºC (with a maximum increase of 3.1ºC).
Although these changes sound small, any warming of the Earth affects the temperature of the seas. This could lead to the irreversible melting of the Greenland ice sheet – resulting in severe flooding. This in turn is likely to lead to the extinction of between 20-50% of the species on our planet and up to 3 million more cases of malnutrition.
To find out more, please visit our Climate Change FAQ page.
What can we all do?
Individuals and organisations can help to combat climate change now by using less energy, minimising waste and adapting to the effects of climate change.
For lots of great ideas on how to reduce your carbon footprint and help combat climate change, please visit the Sustainable Living pages. Also, see what Lancaster City Council is doing to tackle the challenges of climate change at our Responding to Climate Change page.