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Sureflow offer boiler services for gas and oil boilers, including Agas and Rayburns (read more about our servicing)

WORKING TOGETHER WITHAlpha Heating Innovationwww.alpha-innovation.co.ukEnergy Saving Trust

Climate change

Evidence

The climate of the Earth is always changing. In the past it has altered as a result of natural causes. Nowadays, however, the term climate change is generally used when referring to changes in our climate which have been identified since the early part of the 1900's. The changes we've seen over recent years and those which are predicted over the next 80 years are thought to be mainly as a result of human behaviour rather than due to natural changes in the atmosphere.

The greenhouse effect is very important when we talk about climate change as it relates to the gases which keep the Earth warm. It is the extra greenhouse gases which humans have released which are thought to pose the strongest threat.

Impact

Scientists in the UK and across the World are looking at the evidence of climate change and are also using computer models to come up with predictions for our future environment and weather.

However, the next stage of that work, which is just as important, is looking at the knock-on effects of potential changes.

Water is an enormous consideration. As we are likely to see an increase in precipitation and sea level rises, does that mean an increase in flooding? What can we do to protect ourselves from that and how will it affect us financially?

Also, how will our health be affected by global warming, how will agricultural practices change, how will wildlife cope and what will the effects on coral be?

As for opportunities, well there will certainly be some positives of climate change as well as negatives so it is worth us considering those too.

Adaption

The list of things we need to think about which will be affected by climate change is endless. In this section we give you a few examples of how we will need to change the way we live in order to cope with changes to our climate.

The regular use of renewable energy is becoming increasingly popular. Have a look at the possibilities for alternative energy sources, including solar power, wind power, geothermal, water power and even nuclear energy.

Play our game - I'm alright Jack - to influence his environment. You get to make choices at several stages in his life and can even decide how his house should be built.

What else can you do to help adapt to climate change and what can you do to help slow it down? There are many things we can all do at home. There are a host of ideas in Life at Home.

Buildings in the south east of the UK are going to have to be constructed like those in Scotland if weather predictions are correct. See what needs to be considered to build a house sturdy enough for the more severe weather.

Policies

In 1997 the Kyoto treaty was set-up to consider what can be done to reduce Global warming. The treaty was established by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) involving most world countries with the exception of America.

Almost one decade later, as the scientific understanding of climate change and its likely impacts become clearer, a number of nations have approved an addition to the treaty the Kyoto Protocol, in order to standardise a number of more powerful and legally binding measures.

In May 2006 the Bonn Conference saw delegates from 165 countries meet to discuss how to further strengthen international cooperation to reduce emissions of heat-trapping gases and to respond to climate change impacts.

Much emphasis has been put on the promotion of economic incentives to promote action to reduce emissions - for both industrialized and developing countries.

The wide-ranging presentations of possible approaches included incentives for developing countries to mitigate climate change, ensuring cooperation on research and development and the transfer of cleaner technologies. Delegates expressed strong support for the role of the carbon market and the need to find new ways to involve the private sector in climate protection.

The Conference also highlighted issues faced by less industrialised countries who also face problems related to climate change. In Canada's Arctic region, the changes noted by the Inuit community - such as melting permafrost, changes in sea ice and the arrival of new migratory animal species - has raised the need to address adaptation measures.

It is crucial that such measures are introduced if we are are to cope with Global warming. The latest evidence collated by the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) predicts that the global average temperature will rise by between 1.5C and 4.5C if human activities double the amount of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere.

Fortunately talks on Climate Change between the 165 countries involved are set to continue until at least 2012 when the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol ends.