What is climate change?
What is Climate Change
Climate change is one of the biggest challenges we are facing at a local, national, and global level. All the choices we make ,and the lifestyles we live, have a big impact on our planet.
Climate change, also known as global warming, is caused by the release of certain types of gas into the atmosphere called ‘greenhouse gases.’
The main greenhouse gas is carbon dioxide (CO2) which is released whenever we burn fossil fuels. CO2 levels in the atmosphere have risen by about 50% since the 19th Century and by 12% in the past two decades. Other greenhouse gases are also important to note including methane and nitrous oxides which are more potent than CO2 however are released in smaller quantities.
Scientists make it clear that increased warming of the atmosphere, ocean and land is as a result of human activity over the last 200 years. Their message is loud and clear; we need take every action we can to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions right now.
Reducing our individual and collective carbon footprint is one such action.
What is a carbon footprint?
‘Carbon Footprint’ is a phrase that is often used when talking about the environment and climate change, but it’s one that’s not always understood. It describes the best estimate of the full climate change impact of an activity or item. It measures the total amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere because of all our activities and measures them in equivalent units of carbon dioxide (CO2).
Do you know how big your carbon footprint is? Take the World Wildlife Fund questionnaire to find out the impact of your actions on the environment.
Are you surprised with your result? How do you compare with the UK average?
During the Great Big Green Week, we will focus on the major contributors to carbon footprints and provide you with some useful hints and tips on how you can reduce your impact in each of the different areas.