Sunday 18 October 2015

Climate Change display in Church Hall for Paris Climate Talks.

 Here is the display  on  the noticeboard in St John's Church Hall, Settle

From the side

The two side banners are all in French. It is a fun infographic  (For those who do not understand French, well, the posters are jolly. Concentrate on the central material.)

I will be interested to see peoples reactions.

I wanted to include an answer to the questions:-

"What evidence is there of local climate change - and how does this affect Farmers especially financially, and wildlife?"

1.  We used to have much colder winters.  There was lots of snow in the winters 1979 to 1983.  Ask the local farmers, they will remember them. 

2. Fewer frosty days over winter means it is harder to find days to drive on the land when it is hard to do muck spreading.

3. Graphs from the weather records at Malham Tarn Field Centre show that we have had more days with extremely heavy rainfall (Thanks to David Hodgson and Robin Sutton)  recently: In 1961 there were on average 4 days with more than 3cm (1 inch) of rainfall in a day, and by 2011 there were on average 6 days with heavy rain a year.  This is more pronounced when you look at the number of days per year with more that 6cm (2 inch)

4. Church wardens and building officers elsewhere report that they have to put bigger gutters and dig bigger drainage channels to cope with the heavier downpours.


1.) We have more species of butterfly now than 40 years ago. The Speckled Wood has appeared since 2000. The comma has appeared.


Speckled Wood
Map derived from NBN gateway

2. - (Not necessarily climate change) At Malham Tarn Field Centre the Reeds growing in a few pools have extended the area they cover. This is of concern as they are out-competing more delicate rare plants which grow on the fen there.(This could be due to warmer weather, or more likely due to to increased nitrogen compounds which act as fertilizer arriving in the rain.  Or it could just be natural succession..)

However, Climate change is not distributed evenly over the planet.  Inf fact  the Irish sea is often seen to be getting colder (minus 0.3 degrees). And We in Settle are half way between the Irish Sea which is getting colder and the mainland of Europe which is getting hotter (up to 2.5 degrees). so maybe we cannot expect to see big changes.

This year we had a cold late spring (though in fact that worked out well for many of the crops)

I am not 100% sure that presence OR absence of examples of local climate change now  in UK is strongly correlated with the amount of Climate change we are going to get. However:-

  1. The concentration of CO2 and other climate gases (Methane from cattle and mining and industry and rubbish tips; nitrogen oxides from cars and slurry and manure and fertilizer; CFCs from various sources), are definitely increasing, and this is a cumulative process.
  2. The sea is warming. (93% of the heat energy absorbed in the greenhouse effect goes to warming our huge oceans, only 2.5% goes to warming the air). This causes it to expand.

These two things are happening and may be harbouring up problems for the near future.

  1. Part of my love of nature is understanding or finding explanations for phenomena I see around me. It is good to try and work out why the weather and soil and vegetation are as they are, and to observe changes.
  2.  People like to see and understand weather and features where they live. 
  3. The politicians will have to make difficult decisions about how to reduce climate change, and will need to carry the public with them.

Just a thought:

It's 23 years since the Earth Summit at Rio.. 23 year since we had the poster at Malham Chapel inviting people to use the building to pray for the Earth Summit.

Could your church put up a poster inviting prayers for the talks at Paris?

In the 23 years since then, the mean air temperature has risen between 0.2° and 0.4°  -- but this is uneven - some places have risen much more, some less.

Here are graphs of changes .. (click to get bigger picture or go to source - page 6 and 7 (38 +39)  of the 2013 IPCC Report
or better to the shorter, clearer 2013 summary for policy makers)

Observed change in surface temperature 1901–2012

You can see that the Atlantic to the West of Ireland has actually got colder.

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