What is climate change?

A change in the state of the climate is known as climate change.

Climate change is on the news, in the newspaper and various websites, but what is it and what it will mean for North Lincolnshire?

It is important to find out what the difference is between weather and climate.

Weather is what you see out of the window. It is the temperature, rain, hail, sleet and snow; this can change from hour to hour and day to day.

Climate change refers to the variation in the earth’s global climate or in regional climates over time. Put simply, our planet is surrounded by a blanket of gasses that keep the surface of the earth warm and able to sustain life.

The gases which make this happen are called “greenhouse gasses”. They are mainly water vapour and carbon dioxide. As humans emit more carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, the greenhouse effect becomes stronger.

This causes the earth’s climate to change unnaturally and will carry on doing so with damaging effects.

How climate change will affect you

Scientific research indicates that climate change may cause more intense and more frequent weather events.

  • Increasing summer temperatures
  • Decrease in summer rainfall leading to droughts, creating pressures on water resources
  • An increase in winter rainfall increasing the risk of river and surface water flooding
  • Sea level rise due to melting ice caps which may cause coastal flooding
  • More frequent and higher intensity storms/high winds

A gradual increase in temperature also has major implications for ecological systems, rises in sea levels, growing seasons, crop and food supply and animals and their habitats.

Climate change in North Lincolnshire

National Indicator 185 measures the percentage CO2 reduction from local authority operations. This provides the baseline on which to measure improvement.

This indicator is intended to cover the total amount of direct and indirect CO2 emitted.

North Lincolnshire greenhouse gas emissions [PDF, 35Mb]

We also have a carbon management plan for North Lincolnshire.

North Lincolnshire carbon management strategy [PDF, 671Mb]