Climate change and its effects on the UK

The world is facing the warmest temperature record over the next five years, predicts the UK’s Meteorological Office. With Australia facing floods and California enduring wildfires, Voice of London looks at the threat posed by climate change. 

High temperatures have always been welcomed in the UK, however, why are they becoming such a common occurrence?  

The answer is climate change.  

This shift in worldwide temperatures has been caused largely by humans. The great usage of oil, gas and coal has contributed to our planet getting warmer. The consequences are not far behind – carbon dioxide levels have increased by 50%. A more shocking fact is that every decade since the 1850s is warmer than the previous one.  

The UK has already faced its warmest day ever as recorded in Cambridge, 2019. Everyone loves hot days, but when the planet suffers, should people enjoy them so much?  

Many ecological organisations have expressed their concern about the climate crisis. Greenpeace UK has noticed a pattern – the 2010s have been the warmest decade so far. UNESCO participated in the UN’s conference on climate change back in November 2021. In this conference, the UK vowed to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.  

Dr Lizzie Kendon, a senior Met Office scientist says: “I think it’s really frightening. It’s just a wake-up call really as to what we’re talking about here.” 

Global warming must be kept at a safe limit and for many scientists that means keeping it at 1.5C° However, climate change affects parts of the world differently. The UK and Europe will be prone to rainfalls and floods. Predictions for Australia- extreme heatwaves and wildfires- have already become true, however, the country is now facing extreme flooding too. The Middle East region and some African countries will most likely suffer with extreme heatwaves.  

 But how can normal people help?  

WWF has created an app to help people track their carbon footprints and help the planet recover.

  1. You can start helping the planet recover by cutting your usage of cars and planes, as the UN suggests.  
  1. Cut unnecessary plastic out of your life!  
  1. Use social media and contact some brands you think could change their approach into making products and distributing them. Don’t be afraid to call them out people! 
  1. Plant more trees! Talk to the Woodland Trust, Forestry Commission, The Tree Council or any other local charities in your area and volunteer to work with them. 

Even though Earth Day was 3 weeks ago, people should protect and celebrate their planet every day of the year.  

Tweet from Greta Thunberg’s Twitter account.

The Voice of London team thinks climate change is a real problem and needs to be tackled immediately.  

YouTube video: Mac Clapper

Words: Elitsa Maymareva  

Sub-editing: Yana Trup 

Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

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