I am still working on this page ... please bear with me as I build up the content and check references.
Even if we manage to completely stop all emissions of greenhouse gases right now, we can't undo the changes we have already made. We have increased the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by 50% over the past 250 years. The way the atmosphere works means that its reactions are likely to be delayed so the changes are only starting to show themselves. We will need to adapt to a changing world, and this means us as individuals as well: are you ready for heat waves; thinking about adapting your house / garden; and do you need to worry about flooding?
The emissions targets that we are working to will hopefully stabilise carbon dioxide concentrations at 450 to 550 ppm. That is between 60% and nearly 100% more than before the industrial revolution. The climate will change as a consequence so you probably want to think about things that you might need to do to adapt to the changes?
- You definitely must keep yourself informed.
- Do you live near a river or the coast? If you do, note that incidences of flooding are likely to become more extreme and happen more often (if you live in England or Wales check out the flooding pages of the Environment Agency's website).
- Can you cope with more extreme summer heat waves? Do you know any vulnerable neighbours or family members?
- If you are lucky enough to have a garden, you might need to think about what you are planting. Some old favourites are going to find it hard to survive with changes to the seasons. Maintaining a perfectly green lawn might be demanding on water resources. However, developing oases of lush and shady space will really help adapt to those hot days.
- As you are modifying your home (or trying to presuade you landlord to), to try and make it more energy efficient, think about adaptation measures that you can put in at the same time.
- Any chance you get to break up that concrete paving will be good. Getting more rain water to percolate into the ground will help maintain our water supplies. It will also help to alleviate flash flooding events (like July 2007).
Return to main Personal Action page