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Biodiversity and climate change

The changing seasons and reduction in biodiversity

Have you observed any changes in the seasons and if so what changes have you observed?

When we conducted a survey amongst the 7500 families living in Yateley, Hampshire, UK, 75% replied that they had observed changes in climate and 92% agreed that local actions were required to limit climate change.

Their observations included warmer winters, more extremes in weather, hotter summers and heavier rainfall resulting in flooding. 72% of the responses noted that they had observed a decline in species which can be related to our changing climate. It is not only the changing seasons, but also the changes within these seasons, that will affect biodiversity.

Their observations include –

  • More dry and wet periods within each season
  • Hotter summers, warmer winters and more frequent storms leading to increased flooding
  • Autumn arriving later resulting in leaves on some trees until the end of November
  • Winters less cold and wetter resulting in less predictable flowering of native wild species

Early flowering of plants
A recent study has concluded that plants in the UK are flowering up to one month earlier due to global warming. In 2019, for example, spring in the UK arrived one month earlier than the long term average. The danger is that if plants flower earlier and the weather then gets colder and frost occurs, plants could be damaged or even die; for example fruit trees flowering early could then be damaged by a late frost. Such changes within a season will also impact food supplies for species as diverse as insects, birds and wild life.

So even a 1C rise in average global temperature is having an observable impact on biodiversity. Hence the need for each of us to consider how we can reduce our carbon emissions.




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