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Climate Change

Global Warming
There is clear evidence that the surface of our planet is warming up. This evidence comes from a range of sources, including meteorological records, but also from how nature is responding. The range of territory of wildlife such as birds, butterflies and alpine herbs has shifted northward an average of 6.1 kilometres per decade, or to higher altitudes by an average of 6.1 metres. Stalactites in caves in Britain are growing faster as more water is able to seep through the surface. The growing season for crops in Australia is getting longer and permafrost is melting in Siberia and Canada. All this may not sound too serious, except it is all happening too fast for many animals to adapt in time, and will ultimately lead to extinctions on a massive scale and a loss of biodiversity. There is a very real possibility that the geographical range of tropical diseases such as malaria will also increase as insects find it easier to survive in what were former temperate zones. It also means regions once considered stable in terms of climate may no longer be that way in 50 to 100 years.

Many low-lying countries and islands will disappear as the sea level rises when polar ice caps melt and release water currently trapped in them. This would lead to a global problem of refugees.

However, some countries may actually cool down as protecting ocean currents such as the Gulf Stream change course. Britain could find itself gripped by the severe winter storms which regularly effect the north east coastal areas of North America.

The best computer models predict that we need to cut greenhouse emissions by approximately 70% if we have any hope of slowing down global warming.

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