The Met Office 2012 global temperature forecast predicts that this year will be around 0.48 °C warmer than the long-term (1961-1990) global average of 14 °C, with a predicted range of between 0.34 °C and 0.62 °C. The middle of this range would put 2012 within the top ten warmest years in a series which goes back to 1850. It seems hard to believe, but there are still people who do not believe in global warming and the imminent climate change; and there are also those who believe but do not know how to get involved in the effort to reduce greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions to slow down global warming. Climate Week is a supercharged national campaign to inspire a new wave of action on climate change. The first Climate Week, in March 2011, resulted in 3000 events, which were attended by half a million people, making it probably Britain’s biggest ever environmental occasion.
Climate Week events can be organised by anybody and are aimed at inspiring people to take action to create a more sustainable future. Events organised this year range from simple but creative actions such as a restaurant creating a special menu for climate week, highlighting sustainable Cornish monkfish and using four different parts of the fish for four separate dishes; to the ambitious action of planting 5000 trees by NHS Forest.
The UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) published the Government's Climate Change Risk Assessment, which shows clearly why it's crucial to the UK economy to prepare for the inevitable changes that will be seen in the future such as hotter drier summers, warmer wetter winters and increased frequency of severe weather such as heat waves, droughts and floods. For example, the DEFRA assessment for the agriculture sector predicts that “climate change will influence the way crops grow, develop and yield. As a biological system, the driving force in outdoor crop production is photosynthesis. UK grown crops will be directly sensitive to any future changes in sunshine, rainfall, temperature and CO2 concentration levels. There will also be indirect impacts on the agricultural potential of soils by modifying soil water balances, affecting moisture availability and land management practices. Reduced water availability for agricultural abstraction as a result of lower river flows will impact on supplemental irrigation, both for existing irrigated crops and on new crops which may need watering to cope with increased drought.”
Let’s hope that Climate Week will inspire and result in a new wave of action to reduce waste of resources and emission of GHG. Click here to follow events or follow Climate Week on Twitter @Climate_Week.
Link to the Met Office 2012 annual global temperature forecast.