Climate change and the Lake District

In modern times scientist have noticed an apparent increase in global temperatureprecipitation, wind patterns and other measures of climate that occur over several decades or longer. 

Climate change causes:

  • hotter, drier summers
  • warmer, wetter winters
  • more extreme weather events

How does that effect the Lake District?

The Lake District is one of the most visited national parks in the UK and is subjected to the strangest and most erratic weather patterns. Disastrous floods in 2009 and 2010 showcase the ferocious weather system and the damage that can be caused. 

But what are the significant impacts that climate change can have on the Lake district?

Lake levels will dramatically drop in the summer and the poorer water quality will increase as there will be a higher concentration. Toxic algae may become more common in lakes which could have a lasting impact on recreational use

Woodlands will suffer as some species will not be able to cope with the changing climate and be dominated by other species. Storm damage will also increase.

Extreme weather events will be more common and increasingly more powerful.  Storms, high winds, flooding, drought and forest fires could all increase. Footpaths could be completely wiped out.

Plants and animals could become locally extinct and migration of these species could be driven upwards into smaller areas making them increasingly vulnerable. This leaves areas for more non-native species that could potentially carry disease to become more prevalent due to loss of competition.

why don’t we all switch to renewable energy?

Renewable energy from wind and solar panels are becoming increasingly cheaper in Britain. Scientist and studies have shown that several of the most used renewables, like solar, geothermal, bioenergy, hydropower and onshore wind, will be on par with or cheaper than fossil fuels by 2020. Offshore wind farms are competitive with gas and by 2025 this will be the cheapest form of electricity production.

How can I reduce the impact?

Climate change is not just a local problem, but a global one. There are many ways to reduce the impacts but fundamentally there must be a collective effort. However, Rome was not built in a day. The reduction must start from the roots, us the individuals can have a huge impact.

One 2017 study co-authored by Lund University’s Nicholas ranked 148 individual actions on climate change according to their impact the results showed that going car free was the number one impact in reducing individual emissions. In developed European countries a study shows that getting rid of your car can reduce your yearly emissions by 2.5 tonnes. this can substitute by walking, biking or even using public transport. Realistically the ideal utopia would be for everyone to switch quickly to electric vehicles.

Could a change in your diet hep?

After fossil fuels the second largest cause of climate change is the food industry. If cows were their own country, they would be the third highest emitter of greenhouse gasses in the world. Now I am not saying throw all your joy out of the window and become a vegetarian or a vegan I am suggesting reducing your meat consumption. Studies show that if you reduce your consumption of meat by half you can cut your diets carbon footprint by 50%. 

Why should I do this? 

Well if you love the world we live in as much as I do, it is imperative to mitigate the effects that climate change can have on plants, animals, woodlands and society.

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