For the love of... The Arctic

How will climate change affect the Arctic?

Ann Daniels, Devon

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I’m a mother of four children and live in Devon. For more than ten years I’ve been travelling and working in the Polar Regions as an explorer and scientist.

During my time up ‘North’ I’ve witnessed changes in the sea ice covering the Arctic Ocean and have experienced more extreme temperatures and unexpected storms.

This world is not ours and I would like, not only my children, but all the animals in the world to inherit a world we can be proud of. Give Mother Nature a helping hand, not a stamping foot.

For the love of... Tea

How will climate change affect tea?

Sarah, Halifax

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Green. Peppermint. Assam. Builders. I love all of it. But rising temperatures threaten the microclimate in the hills of Asia that produces so much of the tea that we love. And with it, it threatens the livelihoods of the millions whose lives depend on the production of our daily cuppa. So I’m fighting to protect my favourite drink from climate change.

For the love of... Summer migrants

How will climate change affect migrating birds?

Alice Tribe

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I always eagerly await spring, my favourite season –I love to see everything coming back to life. One of my favourite events is listening to the birdsong that fills the air, year after year I have noted when I first see or hear my first migrant birds.

The idea of these small birds making such big journeys just to get back to our country to breed blows my mind! But as climate change is making the weather less predictable, I am concerned about how our migrants will cope. I remember how wet and cold it was last spring and the impact it had on our migrants: some arrived too early and had trouble finding food, others arrived much later usual. I worry that one day we may have springs without our migrants returning – what a sad world that would be….

For the love of... Summer

How will climate change affect my summers?

Sophia, London

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Summer = BBQs, festivals, holidays, picnics, short, camping trips, fetes, trips to the beach and going out without a jumper. I can’t wait for summer!

But as the impacts of climate change become more extreme, summer in the UK could look very different. Scientists think cold, wet summers could become the new norm. Across the world, seasons are becoming more unpredictable and this doesn’t just impact our leisure pursuits – food production, jobs, health and animal habitats are all at risk too.

For the love of... Skiing

How will climate change affect skiing?

Luke McCarthy, Hemel Hempstead

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The mountains have been a huge part of my life since learning to ski at the age of 5. My love for the sport has taken me down many different routes, firstly as an international ski racer and more recently as a sponsored freestyle skier. One thing that has never changed over my many years as a skier is my love for the mountains and a passion for everyone to be able to enjoy them in all their glory.

This is a passion that is under threat by ever rising global temperatures. A greener lifestyle means whiter mountains and is something that I feel compelled to support!

For the love of... Seeing my parents

How will climate change affect this?

Guy, London

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Climate change really came home to me last winter, when I got on a train to Cornwall to visit my Mum and Dad the day before Christmas Eve. The journey usually takes about four hours from London. Unnaturally torrential rain, widespread flooding and trees on the line this time made it an eight-hour trek.

This Christmas, the journey was quicker, but I remember passing flooded fields which looked for all the world like great expanses of sea, with the wind whipping up waves where previously there would have been grazing cattle.

As we passed Dawlish Warren, the sea spat foam at the carriages, and I got the face-full of seawater that I deserved when I foolishly lowered the window to peek out. Little was I to know that within a month, the whole stretch of track would fall into the sea, pummeled by relentless stormy waves.

For the love of... Sea Turtles

How will climate change affect sea turtles?

Louise Hughes

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Last summer I spent three months on the beautiful island of Sal in Cape Verde, working on a Loggerhead Turtle conservation project. The opportunity to watch nesting females on the beaches under the moonlight and release hatchlings into the surf, was an amazing experience.

With warmer temperatures and sea levels rising not only is their food and hatching success impacted but nesting beaches are disappearing. This is resulting in females being unable to continue the ritual of returning to their ‘imprinted’ beach of hatching, questioning their chances of nesting at all.

It saddens me to think that future generations may not experience this mysterious creature.

For the love of... Rugby

How will climate change affect rugby?

Olivier, London

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I love rugby union, the kind that is played with 15 players on a pitch. I used to play when I was younger but I’ve been very busy with work, and now mostly watch it on TV.

Climate change could make it a lot more difficult to play rugby in some areas of Great Britain, Ireland and in other parts of Western Europe, such as France. In January, many rugby pitches across England and Wales were flooded after torrential rains, rendering them unplayable for several weeks. It’s about time we do something about climate change so rugby players across the world can continue to enjoy their favourite sport.

For the love of... Reindeer

How will climate change affect reindeer?

Olav Mathis Eira, reindeer herder, Northern Norway

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I’ve worked with reindeer my whole life and my family has lived this way since the 1400s.

During the last 20 years I’ve observed various changes in the climate. Since the start of the 1990s, reindeer owners have pretty much agreed that what we see now is completely unnatural. For example, it rains when it should not rain, and that makes the ice on lakes and rivers unstable. This has made traditional roads over the ice dangerous, causing accidents when we try to get to the herds.  The rain also makes the snow icy from so that the reindeer cannot get through to the food they depend on to survive in the winter.

I have three sons. One of them will hopefully keep to the family tradition of reindeer herding. But it is an insecure future.

 

For the love of... Popcorn

How will climate change affect popcorn?

Armelle, London

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I love films, all sorts of films. And when I go to the cinema, I treat myself to popcorn – it really is my guilty pleasure. And I prefer it sweet, much to the dismay of my American friends.

Anyway, everyone knows that popcorn comes from corn. And because of climate change, I might not be able to enjoy popcorn in the future. How sad would that be? Climate change means more extreme heat and long periods of drought which have a terrible impact on corn production. Friends in the US have told me about the drought last summer, especially in the Corn Belt in the Midwest. It’s about time we do something about climate change so I can continue eating my beloved popcorn.

For the love of... My Son

How will climate change affect this?

Ray Dhirani, Woking

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As I hold my one month old son in my arms I begin to think about what I can do to make his world a better place.

The future is uncertain – and perhaps scary – but we can take steps now which will increase the chances that many of the things we take for granted today will still be around in the future. We can no longer pass the task to subsequent generations.

For the love of... London

How will climate change affect this?

Tim Webb, London

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Our capital city may seem a strange place for a country boy to enthuse about nature, but I love the way wildlife coexists secretly alongside the 8 million humans who call London home. Even stranger to think that this solid monument to “civilization” is vulnerable to climate change: The threat of flooding is increasing.

Nature breaks through the concrete and “weeds” spring-up in gutters and on rooftops to hint at what we can achieve if we were to just accept that nature is our life-support system. Increasing tree cover and green spaces would give us an improved buffer against weather extremes, benefiting all Londoners, human or otherwise.

For the love of... Kittiwakes

How will climate change affect kittiwakes?

Peter Exley

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When our kids were young, we used to take the boat out to watch the hundreds of kittiwakes nesting at Hallsands in South Devon. Our kids loved the fluffy “tarrocks” (the young chicks) as the pretty parents came in to feed them.

But the colony has gone now because the birds couldn’t find enough food to feed their young. Where once a noisy throng entertained holidaymakers, now there are just empty silent ledges.

For the love of... Herons

How will climate change affect herons?

Stephanie Morren, Bedfordshire

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I’ve grown attached to the herons at the heronry in the centre of St Albans over the last few years, and am always pleased to see the tiny punky-haired chicks start to show themselves over the top of their nests.
Last year, we had an incredibly cold and long-lasting winter. Herons are early nesters and the lake was still frozen solid by the time they started nesting in February, but they doggedly sat on their eggs week after week during this time. A couple of hardy young heron chicks soon reared their heads, but none of the other pairs managed to raise a single chick. I’m concerned that as we get more extreme weather, these birds will find it harder and harder to incubate their eggs and feed their fast growing chicks. What a shame it would be if people could no longer enjoy these amazing views in the middle of their city.

 

For the love of... Gardening

How will climate change affect gardening?

Martine, Enfield

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I’ve been gardening for decades, and having taken this time to understand the relationships between soil, its surrounds and the art of growing food I am now struck by the challenge of cultivating in the face of extreme weather and rising temperatures.

My decisions about which crops to grow that were once focussed on what I wanted to eat now seem simple. Even if I had the time to research what may cope with the effects of climate change I will still need to try these out in my own growing spaces. Seasons later I may be confident of what will grow but I’ll be faced with a smaller range of food to eat – and will get fewer health benefits.

For the love of... Fishing

How will climate change affect fishing?

Joel Vilamor, Philippines.

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I am a fisherman. My wife, May May and I live in a house on stilts above the water in Tacloban, Philippines.

In November 2013 I lost my boat and fishing equipment during the typhoon Hayian. My boat was damaged and I haven’t recovered anything so I cannot fish.

Now I earn a living selling scrap metal that I find along the shore in Anibong Bay. I wear a diving mask and flippers made from salvaged wood and I collect metal from under the water in two fridges that I found after the storm and tied together to form a floating raft.

I don’t really have another option. I will try to save some money to have my boat back because fishing is my livelihood.

For the love of... Farming in Somerset

How will climate change affect farming?

Liz Crew, Farmer, Somerset Levels

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Farmers know that flooding in winter is likely and so they build their cattle sheds on higher ground, but they don’t then expect the sheds to flood. The flood levels in February rose to unprecedented levels. Locally here in Moorland, people knew the flood waters were rising, but I don’t think we thought that the houses in the village were going to flood and up to seven feet deep in places.

I don’t think that the UK’s farming industry is prepared for the changing weather as until recently we have never really had to be.

For the love of... Farming in Ethiopia

How will climate change affect this?

Solomon Beyene Tesfayohannes, Priest, Northern Ethiopia

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When I was a boy, we didn’t notice a changing climate. With the exception of a drought in 1984, the rains came as usual. Now things are different and a shortage of rainfall is common. And when it does arrive, it’s unpredictable too. It comes late or stops earlier, resulting in dead crops and reduced harvests, hindering the local farming communities.

My parents were producing enough food for more than 12 months. Now we can’t produce enough for more than three to four months. People are struggling to cope with the changing climate every day.

 

For the love of... Cycling

How will climate change affect this?

Clare, Monmouth

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Don’t get me wrong, I’m not a champion cyclist. I’m not clad in serious Lycra, and I’m rubbish when it comes to hills. That’s why I harbour a dream of a gentle cycling holiday in the Netherlands. The land of tulips, clogs and quaint windmills is just so thigh-pleasingly FLAT! But it’s at risk. At risk from our rising sea levels, caused by global climate change.

 

For the love of... Coral reefs

How will climate change affect coral reefs?

Heather Griffiths

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I’m a keen SCUBA diver, and have been lucky enough to dive in some amazing places. Coral reefs have often provided the most spectacular experiences, as they are riots of colour, and hubs of marine life. They contain a huge range of biodiversity, are the root of many marine food chains, and are often the nursery to boot.

But climate change is killing our reefs, through increased temperatures and ocean acidification. The sorry sight of vast banks of dead coral skeletons, which should have been buzzing with bright colourful fish, was more than a disappointing holiday experience – it brought home a bleak future for us all.

For the love of... Cold winters

HOW WILL CLIMATE CHANGE AFFECT WINTER WEATHER?

Gareth Morgan

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I miss frosty mornings in mild winters. Winter walks should be accompanied by white breath clouds and ice-hard mud underfoot, hoarfrost on bare branches and cold fingers, birds forced into gardens to finish off the bright red berries.

Much as I love to see them, I don’t really want butterflies to be emerging on short winter days when there is nothing to eat, or hedgehogs tempted out of winter torpor. And am I imagining it or does my vegetable patch benefit from a good cold snap? Bring back cold winters!

For the love of... Coffee

How will climate change affect coffee?

Luke, Plymouth

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What’s climate change got to do with coffee, I hear you ask? Well, the changing weather patterns across regions such as South America are threatening coffee harvests. Crops are falling prey to disease, and farmers are facing failed harvests year after year.

I love coffee, and I also love to think that by drinking my daily Fairtrade latte (or 3!) I’m supporting farmers around the world to make a fair living. But their livelihoods are increasingly threatened by our changing climate, so now I’m going to do something about that too.

For the love of... Chocolate

How will climate change affect chocolate?

Rachel, Walthamstow

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I love chocolate- milk chocolate is best. And of course my favourite is Fairtrade chocolate.
But one day chocolate might become a luxury I can’t afford.

That’s because in Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana, where more than half the world’s cocoa is grown, the land suitable for production could halve due to temperature rise. If it came to this, not only would I miss out, but the poorest farmers and workers would be hit worst.

For the love of... Cheese

How will climate change affect cheese?

Armelle, London

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I fit the cliché about French people to perfection in the sense that I love cheese, mostly French ones if I’m honest. It’s one of the reasons I couldn’t go vegan! But I might have to one day.

Less rainfall means more droughts. More droughts means less food, including for cows. Less food for cows means less milk. Which ultimately means cheese will cost much more in the future. It could become as expensive as caviar!

For the love of... Bluebells

How will climate change affect bluebells?

Mel Coath

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When I was a child, we would walk through the nearby bluebell woods each year on my birthday – the middle of May. The intense blue carpet of flowers contrasting with the green glow of the sun shining through the young beech leaves above was stunning.

I still go home for family birthdays and we still walk through the bluebells but these days it is on my mum’s birthday, a whole month earlier. Bluebells are very sensitive to a warming climate.

So much pleasure will be lost if they go for good.

For the love of... Beaches

How will climate change affect this?

Eilidh, Scotland

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Living in central London, you don’t often get to see the sea. So when I get a chance to travel, I always try and seek out a beach. From (often) rainy pebble beaches on the West Coast of Scotland, to sunnier sandy beaches across the world, nothing makes you feel further way from the city.

Yet coastal erosion and sea level rise caused by the changing climate threatens beaches, and the communities that live near them throughout the world. It’s time to act together to protect our beaches, warm and sandy, or chilly and pebbly!