Since the industrial revolution atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases have been increasing, trapping more and more heat energy from the sun's rays. The most important of these gases is carbon dioxide, produced in vast quantities by burning fossil fuels such as oil or petrol.
The latest reports from climate scientists suggest the trapped heat energy is begining to change the climate of the entire globe. Glaciers in many parts of the world are retreating, extreme weather is becoming more common, rains across semi arid lands are failing, condemming millions to drought and famine.
The UK's Hadley centre, a world leader in climate modeling, has predicted that the global temperatures are set to increase by as much as 3 degrees if we continue to emmit carbon dioxide at current rates.
The consequences of this increase in temperature are:
- A drop in worldwide cereal production of between 20 and 400 million tonnes.
- Around 400million extra people put at risk of hunger
- Between 1.2billion and 3billion more people at risk of water shortages.
- Loss of a fifth of coastal wetlands and unknown consequences for half of the globe's natural ecosystems.
Whilst governments debate and procrastinate to come to international agreements, the opportunity for the individual to help by cutting their own carbon dioxide emissions is often overlooked.
This website provides the opportunity to calculate your own food carbon footprint, and gives you information on ways to reduce it.
UK Hadley centre
Energy Savings trust