Climate change cycles

On Radio 4 today, Melvyn Bragg explored the geological history of our country going back over 400 million years when the UK was located south of the equator near to where Australia is today and Scotland was a separate entity situated near to the equator.

 Some 300 million years ago, the UK was covered with a tropical rainforest fed by a regular supply of rain and by 200 million years ago this had turned to a sandstone desert where only certain plants survived due to a lack of water.

I thought of the process of evolution when I saw  that the Met Office has issued a map showing the global effects of failing to keep the world’s carbon emmisions to 2c. This is part of the government’s campaign to aim for an agreement that limits climate change as far as possible to 2c at December’s international climate change talks in Copenhagen.


According to the Met Office “The Day After Tomorrow map shows that a four degree average rise will not be spread uniformly across the globe. The land will heat up more quickly than the sea, and high latitudes, particularly the Arctic, will have larger temperature increases. The average land temperature will be 5.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

The impacts on human activity shown on the map are only a selection of those that may occur, and highlight the severe effects on water availability, agricultural productivity, extreme temperatures and drought, the risk of forest fire and sea-level rises. The darker the colour, the higher the heat.

Agricultural yields are expected to decrease for all major cereal crops in all major regions of production at a time when world population is expected to grow from 6.9 billion to more than 9 billion.

  In the UK, temperatures could rise above 40 degrees C (104 degrees F) in the summer, droughts will threaten crops in the South East, sea levels rises will affect coastal areas and floods will be common in the winter.

“The reason for publishing this map is that for many people in the UK and around the world, the penny hasn’t dropped yet that this climate change challenge is real, it’s happening now” said David Milliband, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change.He was supported by his brother Ed Milliband, Foreign Secretary, who highlighted the global implications of climate change at the launch of the Met Office map at the Science Museum today.

With a revised 4c rise now predicted as early as 2060 – comfortably in the lifetime of people born today- there is no time to loose.

This post was written by:

- who has written 872 posts on My Climate Change Garden.

I am not an experienced gardener - more of an enthusiastic amateur who learns by trial and error and who is keen to "manage" the effects of shifting weather patterns on my garden. Writing this blog is my passion and it has evolved over 12 years to inspire engagement with climate change outside our back doors, in our personal gardens and green spaces. My mission is to fertilise and expand this platform to grow a community of global gardeners communicating about the effects of climate change on our plants and exploring how each individual can make small changes in our lives to become more sustainable. The future of our gardens and #OurPlanet is in our hands - please plant your own seeds for our collective sustainable future.

Contact the author

Comments are closed.