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No more fish finger sandwiches!?

I love a good fish finger sandwich, mayonnaise, gherkins, little gem lettuce in the soft floury cocoon of a white roll. Yum yum yum - I conveniently forget about the calories, even though I shouldn't. I also like ignoring climate change, yolo and all that. Far too terrifying to think about, before you know it your dreams are engulfed with waves. Much like the time I camped a bit too close to the sea, I thought I'd wake up in the middle of the ocean.

However, now I have read up on the potential destruction of the planet by humans and realise it's not a forgone conclusion I feel much better. Human beings do very stupid things but we're also very clever and good at solving problems. But the first rule of solving a problem is working out what it is.

Water, water, everywhere and not a drop to drink

We're running out of water....

Financial Investment in water is currently outstripping investment in oil and gold, according to The Telegraph and the UN believes that 14% of the world's population will be subject to water scarcity by 2025.

In the The Big Short (a film based on a true story) the protagonist makes $800 million on betting on the collapse of the American housing market (which everyone said could never happen). The man who did this in real life is now investing in water. He said: "Fresh, clean water cannot be taken for granted".

Egypt has a water shortage and less water per person than the UN says is secure. It is estimated that by 2100 the sea may have risen by 2 metres. With a 1 metre sea rise the Nile Delta would see low lying agricultural land in the sea, and groundwater over-salinated. Under 3% of Egypt's land is suitable for intensive agriculture as it is.

It's getting hot in here so take off all your....

According to NASA temperatures are rising ten times faster than they were as we recovered from the last ice-age. Temperatures have been rising steadily since the industrial revolution, when we started burning more fossil fuels and cutting down more trees and creating more greenhouse gasses and having more babies.

On the other hand, Earth has been through at least five major ice ages, and Britain once had a tropical climate, and we are totally innocent on both counts as we were soup or dinosaurs, a twinkle in God's eye - whichever way you look at it, we were not around.

So why so serious son?

The increased temperature is melting the ice caps and the resultant water is increasing sea levels – watch Chasing Ice if you would like to watch a lovely/alarming film about this.

If all the world's ice melted this could increase sea level by 230 feet. Apart from putting land underwater, ice reflects rather a lot of sunlight, so the lack of it would further increase global temperatures. As many of you will know many places are already too hot in the summer months and this can be rather uncomfortable. These places also have a lot less fresh water, and they need this water to survive.

If sea temperatures carry on increasing this will kill off a number of edible fish species and plankton/phytoplankton etc. (which keep everything alive down there).

I do like to be beside the seaside; I do like to be beside the sea...

When you think about the multi-million pound mansions going underwater along Miami or Britain's coast you may be inclined to shrug your shoulders and let out a "meh". But a rise in sea levels affects lots of people whose insurance companies aren't very fond of doling out money when their house keeps getting flooded or falls into the sea.

A rise in sea levels also affects Deltas like The Ganges-Brahmaputra in Bangladesh where people are already struggling to make ends meet.

Bangladesh has one of the biggest and most densely packed populations with over 160 million people, which is more people than Russia with a landmass smaller than the UK and has a lot of coastal land that is at sea level. There is a rather large border between India and Bangladesh and so far India has not been overly supportive of immigration from its neighbour.

Where will we go?

According to the refugee council, by 2015 only 2,609 people had applied for asylum in the UK. The UNHCR estimate that there are over 8 million refugees coming from just three countries in the world. By 2100 there is estimated to be over 10 million people looking for somewhere else to live because their homes are now the sea - and that doesn't include refugees from war-torn countries.

According to Climate Central millions of people in China will be affected by rising sea levels by 2100 and forced to move inland. Shangai has one of the biggest city populations in the world at over 24 million and is very, very close to the sea.

What can we do?

The first rule of climate change is admitting there is climate change, and then admitting that we can do something about it. If we can slow down the rate at which we are contributing to global warming this will buy us more time to come up with a genius solution to the problem.

This means being more aware of the impact we have on our environment. If we all made every effort to limit our impact, it would have an impact. Reducing the use of fossil fuels, reducing our carbon footprint, wasting less food and generally creating less waste are all things we can do to affect climate change.

Let's not be scared or do the ostrich, let's be brave, work together and be the ingenious humans we know we can be.

What do you think? What have you done to make a difference to the planet? Go on, let us know, we'd love to hear from you.

Tags: naissance, environment, water, ice caps, nasa, nature, oceans, climate change, sea levels, resources


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