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Climate Change

What isBlencathra, Keswick Climate Change?

The term climate change refers to the changes in the world’s atmosphere. It includes a rise in average global temperature, changes in rainfall and weather patterns. The main influence on global climate is the emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane. These emissions can occur naturally through processes such as digestion, decomposition and volcanic eruption. However, anthropogenic (man made) emissions have increased markedly over the past century. As well as releasing carbon that has been stored under the ground for millions of years in the form of coal and oil we have depleted and continue to deplete carbon sinks such as forests and peat bogs. As a result the proportion of carbon that is stored in the atmosphere has increased. Furthermore, the residency time of a carbon particle in the atmosphere is between 50 to 100 years which means that the current concentration of carbon in the atmosphere is unlikely to reduce until the end of this century even if carbon emissions are reduced now.

Climate effects

The effect of this increased concentration is to raise the average temperature of the earths atmosphere, surface and seas. This is called global warming. As the atmosphere heats it becomes more dynamic, like a pan of water as it boils. This is why one effect of global warming is more severe weather events like flash flooding and severe winds. The more dynamic weather is also more difficult to predict resulting in a large degree of uncertainty in climate predictions.

Rising air and sea temperatures cause melting of glaciers and polar ice caps. This extra water flows to the sea causing concern over rising sea levels. Coastal areas will therefore become more susceptible to coastal flooding and erosion. Increased carbon in the oceans results in acidification which damages marine ecosystems such as coral reefs.

Agriculture is very climate dependant and changes are anticipated to happen all over the world. Some parts of the world will suffer drought and crop loss while others will become more productive. Extreme weather events can damage crops resulting in uncertainty for farmers and consumers. Some areas of the world may not be able to sustain the local population anymore so migration may become an issue as a result of this.

For more information on climate impact see the UK climate impacts site.

About Climate Change

Climate change is happening in Allerdale and we can all do something about it. The pages on smarter living tips and energy use on this website will provide a number of helpful suggestions on energy efficiency including the top 10 tips for reducing energy.

Businesses can explore the opportunities available to them on the business and climate change page.

Find out what Allerdale Borough Council is doing about climate change.

Other useful links:

Downloadable Documents

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File nameSizeApproximate Download time
Adobe PDF format - download the viewerNottingham Declaration in PDF format38 Kb5 secs @ 56k, 0 secs @ 2mb
Microsoft Word formatClimate Change Strategy and Action Plan 2008-11 in Word format551936 Kb1314 mins 8 secs @ 56k, 37 mins 41 secs @ 2mb
Adobe PDF format - download the viewerClimate Change Strategy and Action Plan 2008-11 in PDF format162976 Kb388 mins 2 secs @ 56k, 11 mins 8 secs @ 2mb
Adobe PDF format - download the viewerClimate evidence from the geological record in PDF format82 Kb12 secs @ 56k, 0 secs @ 2mb

Get Adobe Acrobat ReaderDownload Acrobat PDF Reader (external website). Acrobat PDF Reader allows you to view PDF files.

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Allerdale Borough Council
Allerdale House, Workington, Cumbria,
CA14 3YJ