Climate change is the biggest threat facing the world today. The earth is warming because more of the sun’s heat is getting trapped in our atmosphere (see diagram). It’s getting trapped because of the build up of
‘greenhouse gases’, such as CO2 & methane, which stop heat escaping.Some people say climate change has always happened – well… they’re right – BUT this climate change is on a massive scale and is happening very quickly. And it’s man made – so mankind can fix it. We’ve used up so many CO2 producing fossil fuels in such a short space of time that this is leading to potentially devastating changes in our weather patterns. People with big brains believe climate change can be fixed – but we have to act urgently. CO2, the main climate change gas, is active for 38 years. The level of climate change we’re experiencing now was caused by CO2 released into the atmosphere 38 years ago. We know CO2 emissions have risen massively since the 1970s. So we know there’s trouble in store before 2050. We must act now to reduce the impact of climate change after 2050.
Impacts around the world:
Hotter weather, which can cause drought, starvation and disease
Storms and hurricanes such as Hurricane Katrina, which hit New Orleans in 2005
Drier landscapes that are more prone to fire
Heavier rain, which can lead to flooding
The melting of the polar ice caps, leading to sea level rise
Changes in ocean temperature and acidity that have damaging impacts it’s fauna and flora.
Impacts on the Isle of Man:
Unusually fierce storms have already caused £30m of damage since 1990. Our coastal defences will need to be much stronger in the future
Hotter summer weather may lead to deaths from heat exhaustion as they did in the UK and France in 2003
Warmer, but cloudier summers – many of our summers are now so hot and sunny at the start that clouds build up and stay for the rest of the year
Warmer winters will mean that fewer bugs are killed off. This is also likely to mean that we’ll see more dangerous insects and diseases coming to the Island
Drier and hotter weather in summer will lead to greater fire risk. The Island is small and especially at risk. The Bradda Mountain fire took five days to put out in 2003. Farm hedgerows are also at risk
We’re already getting heavier rain – which is leading to flooding and soil erosion
Storms and gales are more widespread and stronger
Many scientists also believe fresh water from the melting ice caps may shut off the Gulf Stream (the ocean current that brings warm water and air to Northern Europe from South America). If that happens Britain will very quickly become as cold as Northern Canada.
What is IoM FoE doing?
Isle of Man Friends of the Earth is pressing the government to set a target for the reduction of CO2 emissions on the Isle of Man.
We’re campaigning for a Climate Change Bill. This will help Tynwald focus on reducing our impact on climate change, and on preparing strategies to cope with the impacts climate change will have on our way of life
The talks by Professor Thomas Stocker in May 2013 and the more recent one by Kevin Anderson & Alice Bows-Larkin in February 2016 are available to view now.
Both talks were held on the IoM, hosted by DEFA. Kevin and Alice included a lot of IoM-specific material and policy-proposals whereas Professor Stocker illuminates the science of climate change.
Still don’t believe in climate change? Why not read Met Office information, written in plain English by people who know what they’re talking about – not by journalists and newspaper editors! Click here
* Skeptical Science re-butts every anti-climate science argument – Click here