“It’s simple: the less cricket we play at every level the fewer people
will watch it, the less they will come to the ground and pay to enter, the less
chance there is for young people to be inspired to take up the game.”
And it’s not just rain. A Japanese typhoon in 2019 took out some of
the Rugby World Cup Fixtures. Australian
bushfires at the start of 2020 affected the Australian Open. The Scottish ski industry could collapse within
50-years because of a lack of snow.
You don’t have to be an
athlete or a professional sports fan to feel the effect of climate change on fitness.
If you exercise regularly,
then you may also find your favourite activities affected by climate change. Bustle
reported that Nike
has teamed up with Climate Change Lab to explore how climate change is
affecting fitness and exercise.
They found that temperature
plays a key role in determining whether marathon runners clock their fastest
times: their speed reduces when the outdoor temperature rises.
It’s as true for amateur
runners as much as the professionals: you won’t be able to smash those personal
bests when the mercury is so high.
Warmer temperatures also mean you have a smaller timeframe in which to
workout. At the moment, we’re told to
avoid being out during the hottest part of the day (often 12 pm until 3pm),
but that could have to be extended. This
may make it more difficult to exercise outdoors if you have a busy day job.
It’s not just those of us
inside, either. In the UK, we’re not as well prepared for extreme heat. Our
buildings are designed to keep the warm air inside. Your gym may not be able to install the level
of air conditioning required to keep you cool during your workout. An increase in operating costs may be
reflected in your membership, too.
Outdoor runners, walkers and
cyclists will also find that they’re inhaling more polluted air than may be
safe. Air quality levels in urban areas are declining largely due to traffic.
Hot weather can put a real strain on the human
body. It makes those with health
conditions vulnerable but it can also mean that fit and healthy people can
develop heat-related health issues. There have been several cases of even high-profile
athletes dying from complications related to heatstroke.
We also have to remember that most gyms are in urban
areas. Urban areas suffer from urban
heat island effect where the building materials and infrastructure create
literal hot spots which could be up to 5 degrees hotter than the surrounding
2020 already seems like
it’s been twelve-months too long, but it was only a few months ago, back in February,
that England and Wales recorded record levels of rainfall and widespread
There’s obviously a
natural deviation in temperatures and weather patterns but it does seem like
we’re breaking more weather records each year.
COVID-19 is a worrying reminder of how vulnerable we all are to global challenges. Many climate scientists believe the level of threat and disruption seen during this pandemic could be a taste of things to come unless more is done to combat climate change.
Equally, in an article published on The Guardian website said: “Martin Stendel, of the Danish Meteorological Institute, said the abnormal May temperatures seen in north-west Siberia would be likely to happenjust once in 100,000 years without human-caused global heating”.
activity is driving temperature changes in our planet. We all need to think about what we can do to
reduce that impact.
A lack of rain means moisture levels in the soil are low which will impact cereal crops. Lower water levels in reservoirs could also mean that without effective management there will be water shortages in the summer months.
The temperature increase
in Siberia is especially concerning because the region is home to the world
largest area of perma-frost and is already having an impact on local
infrastructure, agriculture and homes.
A recent oil spill caused by the warmer weather is an environmental emergency in the region and a severe threat to the local eco-systems.
What does this mean for the rest of 2020?
Different national weather agencies have different predictions.
Globally, 2020 is likely to rank in the top-10 hottest years with many believing it will secure a spot in the top-5.
Many of us will have wished for long hot British summers but increasing temperatures across the country are set to have a detrimental effect on many of the things that we’ve come to rely on: infrastructure, commerce, health services and food production to name but a few.
Warmer summers in the UK might have us thinking of ice creams on the sea front or BBQ’s in the back garden but what about the millions living and working in urban areas?
Urban heat island effect happens in built-up areas and is when the surface in urban areas – pavements, roads, roofs, building etc – absorb more heat than the natural ground covering you find in less developed areas in t grass, plants, soil and trees, for example.
British buildings are far better at keeping heat in than letting it out. Increased temperatures will make living, working and commuting in urban areas almost unbearable.
The UK’s Fast Fashion Habit is Killing the Planet
The UK is the biggest European consumer of what’s known as ‘fast fashion’.
We all know what fast food means but what does fast fashion mean?
Fast fashion is mass-produced inexpensive clothing designed and made as quickly and as regularly as possibly in order to encourage consumers to buy new pieces. The UK high street has been selling affordable clothing to customers for decades but fast fashion has a much quicker turnaround with seasonal collections frequently replaced with something new.
But what does it have to do with climate change in the UK?
It’s an incredible but devastating example of what we’ve been doing to our sea water.
We’re already beginning to see the impact of climate change in the UK. Understanding that what we’re putting out into the environment and what we’re contributing with consumerism is the key to adopting new and less environmentally damaging ways of doing things.
At Energym, it’s at the heart of what we do: developing clean-energy technology to help gyms reduce their electricity bills and their carbon footprint. Click hereto find out more about what we do.
Photo Credits: Greta Thunberg and Sir David Attenborough photographed for the Today programme
In 2014, Barack Obama – then US President – told the UN climate summit in New York
“We are the first generation to feel the impact of climate change and the last generation that can do something about it.”
We no longer have the luxury of ignoring the effects of global warming. What’s been a political issue for decades is now having an impact on economies and industries.
Flooding Affected Businesses in Thailand
A heavy monsoon in Thailand in 2011 saw the country’s highest rainfall in decades.
9 million people were affected by the extreme weather but it was the impact on businesses that really highlighted the vulnerability of global supply chains and industries.
Around 1,000 factories had to close in Thailand because of flooding.
Sony delayed the release of several products due to disruption at its Thai factories.
3.5 million tonnes of rice were damaged by the flooding. Thailand is the world’s biggest exporter of rice.
The Science Nordic website explains that more than 800 industrial parks were affected which disrupted electronic and car component supplies. Acer, Samsung, Lenovo, Apple, Toyota and Honda all reported interrupted production.
It’s easy for us sitting in our offices in the UK to feel separated from extreme weather on the other side of the world but in today’s global economy, where supply chains and transport routes can stretch tens of thousands of miles, the reverberations of something like flooding in Thailand can be felt in entirely unrelated industries.
footprint is the impact a business or individual
has on the environment.
Businesses can be some
of the biggest contributors.
The carbon footprint of a company could include: the number of computers left on inside a building overnight, the amount of food produce wasted each year, the amount of flights taken for business trips and even how much printer toner is used each week (and what happens to that cartridge when its empty).
Your carbon footprint will also include the amount of green house gas emissions you release into the environment.
It could be difficult reading but without knowing how much your business is contributing to the climate crisis, you can’t do anything about it.
Reducing your carbon footprint could actually save your business money, too. Energy bills can often be reduced simply by finding a better deal or by switching to cleaner energy sources.
Businesses also need to
become more resilient to changing weather patterns.
It’s important to be proactive rather than reactive.
This isn’t always popular because up-front costs to mitigate potential threats can be a tough sell to the people holding the budget. It’s easy to think of extreme weather as being isolated events unlikely to be repeated. Unfortunately, this thinking only costs companies more money in the long-term.
It argued that adapting to climate change is cheaper than paying for the damage after a disaster. Alison Martin, Group Chief Risk Officer and Member of the Executive Committee, uses the example of a flood defence programme initiated before there was a threat where every dollar spent on prevention saved five dollars on recovery efforts after flooding.
There’s a belief, too,
that global collaboration is needed to make the biggest changes.
Some of this may be motivated by a need for good PR but with climate change predicted to accelerate considerably over the coming decades, even a cynical PR strategy is something to be thankful for. We know that younger people are more environmentally minded and that as consumers they’re happier to pay more for greener products and services. It could be a great marketing strategy for the future: attracting new customers by aligning your company to a greener strategy.
Your business could be
affected by climate change. Our entire
country is likely to feel the effects of global warming more acutely over the
coming decades, and it’s vital that you start preparing your company sooner
rather than later.
The social impact of
climate change in the UK isn’t as widely discussed as environmental or
We all understand the
role global warming plays in rising sea levels, bush fires and extreme
heatwaves, but climate change will have an impact on people’s daily lives here in
the UK, too.
refers to the physical and emotional wellbeing of the UK population: its mental
and physical health, social deprivation, access to education, employment and
opportunities as well as social care.
We know that temperatures
are up and that our surrounding sea levels are rising. Everyone in the UK will experience
the effects of climate change at some point in the near future (if they haven’t
already), but some people are more likely to struggle with those effects than
Often, it’s the most vulnerable that are at risk: the elderly, the very young, those with chronic or life-threatening illnesses and those on low-incomes.
How Is Climate Change Affecting the UK?
In 2018, Michael Gove launched The UK Climate Projections (UKCP) which The Met Office describes as the ‘most detailed picture yet of UK’s future climate’.
Summer temperatures could be up to 5.4 °C hotter by 2070
Winters could be up to 4.2 °C warmer
The chance of a summer as hot as 2018 is around 50 % by 2050
Sea levels in London could rise by up to 1.15 metres by 2100
Average summer rainfall could decrease by up to 47 % by 2070, while there could be up to 35 % more precipitation in the winter. In fact, ‘extremely wet winters are 5 times more likely in the next century.’
We already know that the UK’s sea levels are rising by around 3mm per year.
Further research shows that average UK temperatures have risen by 1 degree in the last century. 9 of the 10 hottest summers have all occurred since 2002.
Rising sea levels are
leading to increased rates of coastal erosion.
An increase in the number of heatwaves is also likely to lead to more regular
The UK’s climate is changing, and quickly.
What are the Social Impacts of Climate Change in the UK?
Lord John Krebs, chair
of the CCC’s adaptation sub-committee says,
“What we now think of as an extremely hot summer, where people are dying of heat stress and it is extremely uncomfortable in homes, hospitals and much of transport, that is likely to be a typical summer by the middle of the century and would be a cool summer in the 2080s,”
If dangerous insect borne diseases were to make their way to the UK, it would
be additional strain on health services.
Again, the young and elderly would be at particular risk.
ClimateChange.org writes that urban areas can be particularly problematic as they’re often located on low-lying areas or near to the ‘mouths of major rivers’ putting people at increased risk of rising sea levels and flooding. Waterborne disease is a problem in flooded areas and so too is the destruction of property and food shortages.
The social and economic impacts of climate change often go together. If you can’t get to a job because the infrastructure is too badly damaged or if you’re struggling to afford rising food costs or if you have no electricity, then this affects your ability to support yourself and family, leading to increased poverty and then a higher vulnerability to the consequences of future climate change related problems.
Flooding in Coastal Areas
Coastal towns tend to have higher populations of elderly people and vagrants and rising sea levels make flooding, the destruction of property and the disruption of services more likely. This could mean people’s ability to access healthcare or support. It could make travel more difficult leaving people isolated in rural or remote areas.
Coastal towns and villages often rely on tourism and visitors but this could be undermined by damage, disease or associations of danger.
Heat in Urban Areas
People living in urban areas are at risk of rising temperatures.
Urban heat island effect is a term used to describe how the temperature is often higher in cities than in surrounding rural areas. Buildings and pavements ‘absorb, store and radiate heat’ which makes the environment hotter. Many office blocks and homes aren’t built to keep heat out (the UK has been far more concerned historically with keeping the heat in).
Working and living in cities like London, Birmingham or Manchester in extreme heat could become physically intolerable. The NHS can expect more hospital admissions, too, but will also be facing the problem of keeping patients cool inside its hospitals and care facilities.
Movement of People and
Flooding and extreme heat can cripple the infrastructure making it difficult to move people and goods around the country; this not only has a social impact – people trying to get to work, to get to schools or to visit friends and family or access public services – but there’s also an economic impact: running a business could be more difficult particularly if you’re relying on a UK supply chain. Flooding can wash away roads and tracks. Excessive snowfall and high winds can close airports.
The social impact of climate change shouldn’t be underestimated. Some of the poorest and most vulnerable people in society are likely to suffer first and suffer hardest.
But climate change will make all of us vulnerable.
The UK is going to have
to start living with the effects of climate change. The impact will be felt environmentally,
politically, economically and socially. It’s
important that we work to lessen that impact both for ourselves, our businesses
and for future generations.