What is climate changes?
The Earth’s average temperature fluctuates. In the past, there have been periods of glaciations and of tropical weather. These are natural fluctuations in the climate. However, because of human activities since the 19th century that increased carbon dioxide emissions in the atmosphere, temperatures are rising faster. The consequences are extreme weather, heat waves, tornados, floodings, and melting of the polar ice.
Find out more: Climate changes
This is an article of the BBC News on Climate changes. It nicely explains why temperatures are rising. Do not hesitate to click on the links in the article to know more! What can you do in your daily life to help fighting against climate changes?
Mean annual temperatures are now more than 1°C above the temperatures in the 1960s. These stripes illustrate the change in temperatures in the Czech Republic between 1901 and 2020. Each stripe represent the temperature in the given year. The color indicate the deviation from the average temperature in 1971-2000. Blue means cooler and red warmer. You can see that from 2010, the stripes are dark red. It means that the temperatures were the highest in those years. Create your own stripes and compare different regions of the world with #showyourstripes and this BBC animation!!
There is a website "Fakta o Klimatu" (in Czech) where you can find a lots of information about the facts on climate changes. It explains why and how this happens and what are the consequences. For example, there is the comparison of the monthly temperatures in the Czech Republich between 1961-1970 and 2011-2020. This clearly illustrates the increase of between 1°C and 3°C depending the month of the year.
How does it impact plant life?
Increase of air and water temperatures have some negative effects on plant life. For example, the combination of warmness and drought affects the forests all over Europe, including the Czech Republic. Theses conditions reduce the natural defense of the trees against pest predators, storms and increase the risks of forest fire. For example, in the last few years, spruce tress in the Czech forests have been heavily attacked by the bark beetles. And we know why it is important to maintain healthy forest! Trees capture carbon dioxide, produce oxygen, protect the soil for erosion, provide food and shelter for the wild animals.
Climate changes affect the biodiversity. And increased temperatures can lead to the extinction of some plant and animal species, including insects. In contrast, invasive plant and animal species, more resistant to climate changes, spread in the local ecosystem, competing with native species. We have seen in Chapter 2 why pollinators are important for the fruit production. Three-quarters of plants in the world depend on pollinators: apples, avocados, pears, apricots, pumpkins, tomatoes, and many more. The interdependence between pollinators and flowering plants are challenged by climate changes, that could directly impact on food security.
Plant researchers study how climate changes impact crop production and plant development. High temperatures change how the plant will grow. The stems of the flowering plant will elongate more, the plant flowers earlier, and grows faster. As for fruit production, pollen development is very sensitive to high temperatures. And with less pollen, plants produce less fruits and less seeds! Those researches are done in Brno, at Masaryk University, Mendel University, CEITEC and Czech Globe, and in other universities of the country.
What can you do in your daily life to help our planet?
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