The impacts of climate change are already being felt across the world and in Wyre. It is important to understand what climate change is, how it is affecting us locally, and why we need to take action.
The release of greenhouse gas emissions, such as carbon dioxide and methane traps heat within our atmosphere. These emissions are released as a result of increased human activity, particularly from:
Burning fossil fuels for energy;
Agriculture and deforestation;
The manufacture of cement, chemicals and metals.
Release of these emissions has caused average global temperatures to rapidly increase by up to 1.1 °C since pre-industrial levels. As our weather system is very sensitive to small changes in average temperatures, this increase means that the chances of experiencing more extreme weather events rises every year.
Find out more about what climate change means.
Wyre’s changing climate
We are already seeing the effects of the changing climate in Wyre. Intense storms and flooding has severely affected local residents and communities in recent years. Wetter winters and rising sea levels are likely to increase this risk of flooding.
Hotter and drier summers mean the chances of experiencing extreme heat waves and droughts also rise. This impacts air pollution levels and puts vulnerable elderly residents and young children at risk of heat stroke and dehydration.
All of these changes have a serious impact on our wildlife. As spring and summer occur earlier, plants and animals are becoming out of sync with each other, meaning food may not be available when animals need it. Temperature change is also causing species ranges to shift northwards, limiting the habitat of many important pollinators like our butterflies and bumblebees.
The likelihood of these impacts depends on how quickly we can all reduce our emissions. The more we can do now, the less extreme the expected impacts will be in the future. Read more about what you can do to help tackle climate change, and how you can prepare for changes to come.
Building back better
As we recover from the Covid-19 pandemic, we have an important opportunity to be able to ‘build back better’ and create a sustainable, equal world that benefits us all. These include:
- Investing in green industries, such as energy efficiency technology, would create more jobs, save money on energy bills and ensure resident’s homes are warm and healthy places to live.
- Natural measures such as planting trees not only helps to store carbon from the atmosphere, but also reduces the impact of heavy rainfall or extreme heat, improves air quality, helps our mental health and leads to greater biodiversity.
- Changing our food habits by eating less meat and dairy, sourcing our food locally and seasonally, and throwing less away would reduce emissions from agriculture, transport and waste, whilst also improving public health and supporting local producers.
- Changing how we travel by driving less, sharing journeys, switching to electric vehicles, using public transport and cycling/walking more, would reduce emissions, create jobs in these areas, reduce air pollution and lead to a fitter, healthier population.