What is climate change?
Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns. Since the late 1800s temperatures have increased by over 1 degree. This is due to humans increasing the burning of fossil fuels like oil, gas, and coal. Burning these fossil fuels makes greenhouse gasses, these gasses wrap around the earth like a cover causing the sun's heat to be trapped in and making the earth's temperature rise.
Climate change is already affecting the earth at an alarming rate. As mentioned before the earth's temperature is getting hotter. Especially over the past 40 years, 2016 and 2020 were the hottest years to be recorded in history. Rising temperatures are going to affect the ocean and sea levels. Some parts of the ocean especially near the top are showing a 0.6 Fahrenheit increase. Ice caps are also melting scientists have discovered Greenland lost an average of 279 billion tons of ice per year between 1993 and 2019, while Antarctica lost about 148 billion tons of ice per year, which contributes to sea levels rising all around the world, Global sea level rose about 8 inches (20 centimeters) in the last century. All these issues are affecting the world every minute and if we don't act now it will be too late. So here is how you can help.
Walk and cycle more
One of the biggest ways you can reduce climate change is to cut back on flying and driving. Globally, transport accounts for around a quarter of CO2 emissions. This statistic shouldn't surprise anyone, with over 1 billion cars around the world and more than 40 million commercial flights each year, all the fuel being burned will take its toll on the environment. If you are needing to use a car for work you can always use public transport that causes way less CO2 emissions. You could also invest in getting an electric or hybrid car, 1.65 million new cars were registered in 2021 and it is estimated that by the end of 2022 more people will be buying electric cars than diesel. However, walking or cycling is still the best way to reduce carbon dioxide. The health benefits are a massive factor too, you can get fit and healthy whilst walking or cycling to destinations.
Unplug your plugs
How often do you leave plugs on even when they are not in use? Well, the outlets in your home are likely powering about 65 different devices and this will affect the environment as well as cost you money that you don't need to waste. In fact, appliances left on standby cost the average home £80 a year, this is the equivalent of 50 large (500-megawatt) power plants’ worth of electricity. To stop this make sure you switch off every plug you aren't using, especially the likes of chargers or TVs as even when you put it on stand by it is still using energy.
Protect forests and green spaces
Forest and parks are some of the most important places on this earth. Woods and forests absorb atmospheric carbon and lock it up for centuries. The more trees we have the less carbon will be in the atmosphere causing the global temperature to rise. Sadly we are seeing more and more forests and woods being destroyed. Deforestation is the act of cutting down large areas of woodland to make room for other things and it's only going to get worse, the UNs Food and Agricultural Organisation believe the annual rate of deforestation to be around 1.3 million km2 per decade. But this can be countered, companies and charities like Carbon Neutral Britain and The Woodland Trust are asking for small donations, anyone that donates to these charities will be helping them plant around 20 trees per donation. You can also make your own green space no matter how big or small, any help is help to protect this beautiful planet.
Use your voice
Climate change is affecting us all but yet Countries and MPs are still ignoring it. However, use your freedom of speech, tell your friends, family anyone you know that climate change will eventually destroy this planet if we don't act soon enough. You can even write to your local MP asking them if they are doing enough in the area to slow down global warming. The more people that know the issues and devastation climate change will cause to the earth, the quicker we hope they will change their lifestyles to be more Eco friendly. We are seeing it more and more, with the recent examples being from Extinction Rebellion. Use your right to do a peaceful protest.