Why do we need to talk about climate?
Because it’s having a huge global impact and this is our chance to decide what we’re going to do about it in Jersey
If you’ve got something to say we want to hear about it, share your thoughts or, if you’re not quite ready to join the conversation and would like to find out more then keep reading or watch this video.
What does climate change mean?
Simply put it’s the process of our planet heating up.
But the impact of the rising temperatures doesn’t mean we’ll get nicer weather – it’s resulting in ice caps melting, sea levels rising, droughts, extreme temperatures, changing rainfall patterns, more extreme and unpredictable weather.
Why is it happening?
You’ve probably heard this one before, the greenhouse effect.
Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide, trap heat so warming it up. The scale of the rise in greenhouse emissions since the industrial revolution has been huge and it’s influencing temperatures.
And, while we need some greenhouse gases in the air to keep temperatures warm enough to sustain life in recent years the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have increased rapidly and this is what’s seen the temperatures rise and caused the climate change, we’re all talking about.
Is it causing Jersey problems?
The Jersey Met data used to form our climate stripes mural shows that these changes are being seen in Jersey. We, like everywhere, are seeing the impact of these changes in temperature.
Where do the greenhouse gases come from?
You’ve probably heard of fossil fuels? These are made from decomposing plants and other organisms, buried beneath layers of sediment and rock, and have taken millions of years to become carbon-rich deposits of coal, oil and natural gas.
These ‘fossil fuels’ supply about 80% of the world’s energy. They provide electricity, heat, and transportation, while also feeding the processes that make a huge range of products, from steel to plastics. Burning fossil fuels releases greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere, so simply put the more we demand the products and services that require them to be burnt, the more gasses are released.
The clearing of forest land has also contributed as trees absorb carbon dioxide when they grow and release greenhouse gases if they are cut down and are burned or left to rot.
Carbon dioxide is now at concentrations approaching one and a half times the level at the time of the industrial revolution around 200 years ago.
What does carbon neutral mean?
Carbon neutral means we need to achieve an overall balance between emissions produced and emissions taken out of the atmosphere, it’s all about getting the balance right.
Greenhouse gases can be absorbed by growing trees and plants, as well as through technological processes that can remove carbon dioxide from the air. However, it could be argued that the best way to achieve carbon neutrality is not to generate the greenhouse gas emissions in the first place!
This can be done by reducing our demand for the products and services that involve the burning of fossil fuels. Carbon neutral is also sometimes called net zero emissions.
What can you do to help?
Tell us what you think. The only way we can get things to change is if we know what people think. Is Jersey just too small to make a difference? Are the mistakes of the rest of the world really our problem?
If you’ve got something to say, click here to join the conversation.