|FACT: Scientists say that if we act now we can reduce the risk of big changes in the future
Have you ever thought that the summers are getting hotter?
We're told climate change is happening - and that it will have a big effect on the way we live.
Around 95 per cent of people have heard of climate change but we’re less clear about what the main causes are and how much it’ll affect our lives.
The lastest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change suggested that, if we could get greenhouse gas emissions to peak and then decline within the next 10–20 years, the risk of seeing temperatures rise by more than 2° C would be greatly reduced.
Climate change may lead to it being warmer overall in the UK but the climate may also be more unpredictable and extreme. We may have warmer winters, but they’re likely to be wetter. In the summer, excessive heat will cause problems for the elderly, the very young and those with health problems.
There's also the risk of rising sea levels and extreme weather events like storms and floods. Since 1998, the cost of repairing the damage from extreme weather events and floods in the UK has increased by 60 per cent. The insurance industry is one of the first sectors of the economy to be feeling the economic effects of climate change.
What causes climate change?
Emissions of what are known as greenhouse gases contribute to climate change. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide and methane and are largely produced when we burn fossil fuels such as coal and gas. It is believed that the energy we use in our homes accounts for 27 per cent of the carbon dioxide released into the atmostphere, with 25 per cent of emissions from domestic transport.
Every reduction in emissions that takes place, no matter where it occurs, makes a difference by not adding to the risk. Some countries like the UK are in a great position to give a positive example to the rest of the world. In Hull we can all make a difference and we can show other parts of Yorkshire and the country how small changes can make a difference.
The impact of change
As we shift to new ways of using and creating energy, industry will have to adapt and jobs may change – but more may be created overall. This could open new opportunites for businesses in Hull and help create more jobs here. Also using less energy can save companies and households money. By investing in new energy technologies at home, we also help to reduce our reliance on imported sources of energy and so be better prepared for the future when these sources run out.
By acting together we can tackle tomorrow’s climate today.
Want to know more?
For a more detailed explanation of the Greenhouse Effect in pictures, visit earthguide
Children will find this site helpful in understanding more about climate change - Environmental Protection Agency
For detailed information about the science behind climate change, visit The Royal Society
Or follow the links listed on the left.
If you have a question about climate change you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org