Few Think Climate Change Will Effect Them

(Reuters) – LESS THAN HALF OF BRITONS believe climate change will affect them during their lifetime; and fewer than a fifth think it will disturb their children, a government survey showed Friday.

In the YouGov poll for the Department of Energy and Climate Change, 69% of respondents said flooding would be the most likely consequence in Britain, but only 26% believed the country was already feeling the impact of climate change.

‘Recent research shows the public are unclear on what causes climate change and what the effects are,’ the department said.

Scientists say rising levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, caused by burning fossil fuels through greater energy usage, mass deforestation and increased transportation, will lead not only to flooding, but widespread drought, famine and disease, especially in poor countries.

People displaced by climate change, or ‘climate refugees’, was another consequence of a warmer world, and could weigh on Britain’s economy and social services.

‘The survey results show that people don’t realise that climate change is already under way and could have very severe consequences for their children’s lives,’ UK Energy and Climate Change Minister Joan Ruddock said in a statement.

‘With over 40% of the UK’s CO2 emissions a result of personal choices, there is huge potential for individual behaviour change to lower emissions.’

To raise public awareness, the department is launching its first ever advertising campaign today’confirming the existence of climate change and its man-made origin.’

To see the DECC television adverts, click here

Nature Reserve Landscaping Starts

(BBC) – HEAVY MACHINERY has been brought in to begin landscaping a new nature reserve for the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB) on Canvey.

The RSPB bought 256 hectares (640 acres) of grassland and salt marsh on Canvey Island from William Morrison Supermarkets in May 2006.

It is the last remaining green space on Canvey Island and the RSPB wants to make it a haven for wildlife.

Work includes a nature trail, viewing points and picnic areas.

Once the works are completed, the new reserve is set to open to the public in summer 2010.

The RSPB hopes to encourage wildlife to flourish allowing visitors to enjoy the flocks of wetland birds, butterflies and wild flowers.

The area includes 30 hectares (74 acres) of salt marsh at Benfleet Creek, west of the bridge on to Canvey Island.

The salt marsh here is known to support a high density of nesting redshanks and lapwings.

About 80% of the coastal grazing marsh in Essex has been lost since the 1930s, due to a combination of conversion to arable, building and landfill sites.

The purchase in 2006 was made possible by funding from the East of England Development Agency, Cleanaway Pitsea Marshes Trust and the Department for Communities and Local Government’s Thames Gateway Programme.

… (Echo, 22/01/2010) – £2.5m to be spent on Castle Point leisure facilities

Runway Renamed As North Pole Moves

(BBC) – STANSTED AIRPORT IN ESSEX has renamed its 3,000m (9,750ft) runway because the position of the Earth’s magnetic North Pole has moved.

The runway was known by pilots and air traffic controllers as 23/05 because of its location and compass heading.

The magnetic North Pole drifts naturally, and every 50 years its position alters significantly.

Managers at Stansted decided they must call the runway 22/04 to reflect the new position and bearing.

Trevor Waldock, head of airside operations, said: ‘We’ve had to make this change due to the Magnetic North Pole slowly drifting on the Earth’s surface; but our runway remains in a fixed position.

‘It’ll roughly be another 56 years before we have to consider changing it again.’

The magnetic North Pole will continue to drift until it eventually switches with the magnetic South Pole.

The Earth last went through this an estimated 780,000 years ago.

With time, due to the Magnetic North Pole moving south, the Northern Lights will be more regularly visible in the UK.