Since the Eco News Network is US based, we concentrate on climate issues concerning our homeland. However, we are always interested in gaining more insight about how climate change is affecting our world not just our country. Victoria Douglas shares her research and thoughts about how our friends in the UK are being affected by global warming. She strives to explore the question, is global warming just hot air or is the UK heading for trouble?
Climate change is rarely out of the news these days. It is one of the most important issues of our time, and as the world continues to heat up, it is something that we are being forced to take more seriously. But what changes can we really expect to occur in the UK over the coming decades?
How the UK Could Be Affected
One of the biggest and most disruptive problems caused by climate change is likely to be an increased risk of flooding. Very wet winters could become much more common, with intense downpours leading to flash flooding on a more regular basis. This could cause billions of pounds worth of damage to homes and businesses as well as threatening infrastructure in flood-risk areas.
Sea level rises could also affect the UK in many coastal areas. As glaciers melt and oceans expand, areas like the southeast of England could face further pressure from the sea, causing damage and disruption.
Impacts from outside the country may also be felt. Greater instability in other countries could have an effect on food prices, for example, and pressures from immigration could also become greater as more people move away from areas badly affected by climate change.
Hotter, drier summers are also predicted to become more common. Drier summers may sound pleasant, but these could increase the risk of drought, and they could also increase the risk of more intense heat waves. The water supply could come under pressure as well, leading to potential water shortages and more controls.
How We Are Fighting Global Warming
The 2008 Climate Change Act has set a number of targets that the UK must meet to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions. The overall target at the moment is to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050 compared to emission levels in 1990, and we are doing many things to work towards that goal.
For example, the UK is now recycling more than ever. This reduces the amount of power needed to manufacture new products, cutting greenhouse gas emissions.
New technologies like wind power are also being used to generate more electricity, and there are now many onshore and offshore wind farms across the country. Solar power is also being used to generate power, and more people are now using solar panels on their homes. Energy companies are also helping. For example, npower has become involved in a number of green energy projects in recent years.
You can also do your bit through changing your own energy habits. For example, you could drive less and take public transport more often, use carbon offsetting schemes when you travel by plane, recycle and reuse more at home, make a compost heap to avoid sending organic waste to landfill sites, use energy efficient light bulbs, turn off electric devices around the home and more.
There are many ways to reduce your carbon footprint on a daily basis, and this will all help in the fight against global warming.
Change Is Coming
The UK will be affected by global warming. Although there is no certainly about the exact changes we can expect, climate change will certainly have an impact. As temperatures continue to rise over the coming decades, we will face numerous impacts even if we drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
How much we will be affected is impossible to say. However, the UK will continue to work towards reducing its greenhouse gas emissions, and you can do the same by making positive changes in your lifestyle starting today.
Victoria Douglas is an environmental researcher. When she finds something that she feels people need to know, she likes to share it by writing online. You can read her enlightening ecological articles on many blogs and websites today.
Photo Credit: Flickr/UGArdener