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June 2016 the hottest on record - climate change calls for action

Posted by Gabby Mallett on 22 July 2016 at 2:08 pm

The Climate is changing and we need to do something about it.

There have been horror stories all over the media this week about raising global temperatures, with records falling like dominos.

  • January  2016 – hottest on record
  • February  2016 – hottest on record
  • March 2016 – hottest on record
  • April 2016 – hottest on record
  • May 2016 – hottest on record
  • June 2016 – hottest on record

This six month period averaged 1.3oC hotter that the late 19th Century, used to represent pre-industrialisation.  In fact the previous 14 months were all the hottest on average.

2016 is now on track to be the hottest year on record, which is interesting because the previous hottest year was not that long ago, 2015 in fact.

Actually the top ten hottest years on record have all been since 1998.  They are 2015, 2014, 2010, 2013, 2005, 2009, 1998, 2012, 2007, 2006. If you extend this to the top 17 hottest years on record then 15 of those years have been since 2000.

I know there are still some climate change sceptics, but to me the data is pretty clear and I haven’t even mentioned the melting ice caps.  NASA now calculates that ‘the extent of Arctic sea ice at the peak of the summer melt season now typically covers 40 percent less area than it did in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Arctic sea ice extent in September, the seasonal low point in the annual cycle, has been declining at a rate of 13.4 percent per decade’ and the World Meteorological Organisation referred to the current level of melting as ‘quite alarming’.

So how much of a problem is it and what can we do about it? We all talk about the hottest this or the wettest that, but it is the trend that is the most worrying.  In Paris last December global leaders agreed to limit global warming to ‘well below’ 2.0oC and we are already at 1.3 oC. This means we need to act fast and act big.  What is it the American’s say? - “Go big or go home”.

We need to dramatically cut carbon emissions in every way possible.  For the humble homeowner this means two distinct things.  We need to install as much in the way of energy efficiency as we can.  Of course this has the huge added benefit of cutting our energy costs too.  It can have even more benefits depending on what installations take place, such as external insulation improving the appearance of your home or installing new energy efficient windows also cutting out noise pollution.  The second thing is that we desperately need to replace our fossil fuel use with renewable energy.  Easier measures like solar thermal and photovoltaics are often a no-brainer, but even more disruptive options like ground source heat pumps and mechanical ventilation with heat recovery should be considered.

For more information on energy efficiency and renewables check out some of our previous blogs and look through our other resources.  Then use the directory to find a recommended installer.  Once you have had your install why not invite your friends to see it.  Keep a log of your energy use or generation and show others how effective it is.  Maybe even calculate your carbon emissions reductions.  Or if you have made dramatic savings why not apply to join the SuperHomes network and really show off what you have done. Owners of 50 of the most eco-friendly SuperHomes will be hosting free Open Days across the UK this September.

The sooner we start to act the sooner we can stop this ever upward trend.

 For more information see NASA or the World Meteorogical Organisation.

If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.

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Comments

1 comments - read them below or add one

Sara Lou

Sara LouComment left on: 15 August 2016 at 9:46 pm

I think at this point in time there are very few that wouldn't agree we have a serious problem on our hands when it comes to the climate. However, i can't help but feel that we're still dragging our feet when it comes to tackling it, promises seem to be half-hearted, agreements disagreed upon, targets failed.

It certainly doesn't help in this throw away society that people are far, far too wastefull in almost every aspect, a deeply worrying trend that only decades of education can change. Question is, does our climate have that kind of time to spare? I fear not.

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