Tag Archives: climate change

‘Absolutely ridiculous’: top scientist slams UK government over coalmine

The Guardian reports one of the UK’s most eminent environmental scientists has called the government’s failure to block a new coalmine in Cumbria “absolutely ridiculous”. Prof Sir Robert Watson said the UK’s commitment to net zero emissions by 2050 to tackle the climate crisis was “wonderful”, but that there had to be a focus on immediate actions.

The UK is hosting a UN climate summit and Boris Johnson has pledged to lead a green industrial revolution. 

The green plan looks good, but the government must live up to its promises

The Guardian and Business Fast report a huge amount of effort and planning will be required to fulfil Boris Johnson’s 10 pledges to tackle the climate emergency – by Rebecca Newsom, head of politics at Greenpeace UK. After many weeks of speculation, the prime minister has finally announced his “10-point plan” for a green industrial revolution.

A recent analysis by Green Alliance showed that the UK is on course to reduce its emissions by less than a fifth of what’s required for its next round of climate targets. Joint analysis in September by The Climate Coalition, including Greenpeace, WWF, the Women’s Institute, National Trust and the RSPB concluded that at least £95bn of government investment is needed over the rest of this parliament to build back better and deliver a sustainable, inclusive, and resilient society. 

Goldsmith: Ban peat burning and back nature-based climate solutions

ENDS REPORT reports the environment minister Lord Zac Goldsmith has signalled his support for a ban on peat burning and expressed concern that nature based climate solutions are being “utterly neglected”.

According to conservation charities RSPB and WWF, protecting existing carbon stocks in the UK will secure the equivalent of 16,231 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (MtCO2e) – the amount of 36 years-worth of UK emissions at 2018 levels.

Rare birds declining in the UK because of warmer Arctic climates affecting migration rates

The Telegraph reports a study which tagged geese and monitored their movements and density from 2006 to now has found that vastly fewer young come with adult animals when they travel to our shores. Nowhere else on earth are experts seeing such rapid changes than in the Arctic where the primary cause, greenhouse gas emissions, are instigating warmer winter temperatures and ice loss, affecting the availability of food, competition and predation of animals. 

Restore natural habitats or ‘face wildlife catastrophe’, campaigners warn

The Daily Mail and The Guardian report a wildlife catastrophe is imminent unless urgent action is taken to restore Britain’s natural habitats, campaigners have warned today. Nature group Rewilding Britain said global warming means species’ ‘climate zones’ – areas with ideal temperature, humidity and rainfall for those creatures – are moving north too fast for them to keep up. 

Summer is already over with leaves falling from the trees two weeks early, RHS reveals

The Telegraph reports summer is officially over, the Royal Horticultural Society has said, as autumn colours are being seen in their gardens and apples are ripe two weeks early. Many have noticed amber-hued leaves falling from the trees in the last weeks of summer, and the temperature has dropped from the giddy heights of the heatwave.

The early spring heat gave many types of fruit, including greengages and apples, a head start to the growing season, meaning that harvests have come early. Trees and shrubs are turning their leaves as they have been confused and stressed by the recent erratic weather, causing them to prepare for autumn earlier.  

Photo by Jack Cousins under creative commons.

Specieswatch: violet carpenter bee – an exotic, heavyweight arrival to UK

The Guardian reports if you see a violet carpenter bee, xylocopa violacea, in Britain, it seems too exotic for our shores, and too big. It is up to 3cm long, the size of our largest bumble bee, and it looks even larger when flying with an impressive buzz.

In late August, the adults emerge from a dead tree trunk or other old wood where they have spent the larval stage. After mating in late April or May, female bees bore holes in rotten wood and lay eggs in separate chambers, each one sealed in with a store of pollen so the emerging larvae can have a good start in life.

Climate change has brought this southern European species to our shores.

Violet carpenter bee photo by Charlie Jackson under creative commons.

British countryside is ‘becoming less fertile’ with nearly 40 per cent of arable soils in England and Wales ‘degraded’ due to loss of carbon, study shows

The Daily Mail reports arable soils in England and Wales are becoming less fertile, according to a new study.  Almost 40 per cent of arable soils are being ‘degraded’, meaning they have too much clay and not enough carbon or organic matter.

The findings are based on a new ‘soil health index’ that classifies soils by the proportion of organic matter they contain compared with clay, which is too dense and compact to generally be suited to plant growth. Researchers say the index is a good predictor of how much carbon soils can take up and store and a general indicator of how well they are functioning. It could help farmers or policymakers improve the natural services soils provide, such as food production, flood protection and carbon storage.

The wildlife visitors warning of climate disaster

The GUARDIAN reports …. a warm welcome? Britain’s milder weather is attracting exotic guests. While we may celebrate their arrival now it should also alert us to what’s ahead. Mediterranean egrets balancing on the backs of cows, multicoloured moths the size of a human hand, and impossibly exotic bee-eaters hawking for insects under English skies. All are here as a direct consequence of the climate crisis, which has allowed continental European species to extend their ranges northwards, and then make the leap across the Channel to gain a foothold in southern Britain.