Climate change - Is there still hope and what can you do to help?

Credit: Omer Messinger/PA Images

Hotter and drier summers followed by rainier winters - this is what scientists predict Wales will be facing in the next 30 years.

With sea levels expected to rise by 22cm, the Welsh coast as we know it is particularly vulnerable.

Floods are more likely, threatening some of Wales' most popular beaches.

In places like Newgale, Pembrokeshire, the local council have already made a drastic and expensive decision as they plan to move a main coastal road further inland.

The council plan to move this road, the A487, up towards the valley and away from the sea. Credit: ITV Wales
  • What do the experts say?

Scientists predict that the Wales of the future will see a 3.4ºC rise in temperature during the summer alongside a 16% decrease in rainfall. This makes droughts more likely.

But in the winter they predict 14% more rainfall.

This extreme weather contributes to rising sea levels, threatening seaside businesses and homes.

The local council in Newgale predict that this shingle bank will not be able to protect the village for another 20 years. Credit: ITV Wales

In July, the UK saw temperatures reach a record high of 38.7ºC in Cambridge.

"It will be a much more dangerous and unpleasant world."

Lorraine Whitmarsh is the Director of the UK Centre for Climate Change and Social Transformations (CAST) and she says climate change brings a variety of risks to people across the globe as well as to us here in Wales.

Lorraine is a Professor in Environmental Psychology at Cardiff University Credit: ITV Wales

"The reality of climate change can be quite threatening to people."

Lorraine says that although the evidence for climate change is clear, some people will always be difficult to convince because "the message around climate change can be difficult to hear".

"Tailoring your message" to people is therefore important and sometimes promoting eco-friendly behaviour amongst climate change deniers can mean emphasising other benefits - like living a healthier lifestyle if you cycle to work.

So what can you do to help tackle climate change?

It is not all doom and gloom though; we can all do some simple things to help.

1. Eat less red meat

Meat production often involves cutting down trees to clear land for cattle and the release of gases like methane from cows and fertilisers - both harming the environment.

Lorraine Whitmarsh says that "people can eat a bit less meat in their diets. Particularly cutting down on red meat - that is one of the worst things for climate change".

2. Make different travel choices

It is well known that pollution from cars and planes contributes to global warming and climate change.

By opting to ditch your car and "walk to work a couple of days a week" Lorraine says you can help save the environment and also make a healthier lifestyle choice.

3. Cool off your energy use

Turning down your thermostat by one or two degrees or insulating and draft proofing your house are some simple ways you can bring down your home energy use.

Saving money and the planet, what could be better.

Credit: Martin Keene/PA Images

But is it all too late?

Not according to Lorraine. She says that she can already see that people are making positive changes.

"I think a lot of people are starting to be interested in a plant-based diet and reducing the amount of meat that they eat."

"People are very concerned about plastic and I think that is one of the things we can really capitalise on."

"Already people are starting to be concerned about the impact that people are having on the planet so I do see cause for hope."

Extinction Rebellion have held several climate change protests in Cardiff this year Credit: ITV Wales