WEATHER patterns across Cheshire over the past year show the impacts of climate change could be starting to take hold, according to data analysed by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).
Figures from the Met Office reveal 2007 saw higher than normal temperatures along with increased bursts of heavy rain.
In Cheshire, the average maximum temperature for 2007 reached 14.2 – an increase of 1.1°C compared to the 1971-2000 long-term average.
Colin Butfield, head of campaigns at WWF-UK, said: “Not only was 2007 an incredibly wet year but the higher than normal average temperatures seen in many months during 2007 made it the second warmest year ever recorded.
“The changes in our weather patterns that we are witnessing are in line with predictions that the UK climate will become warmer and wetter.
“We need to take action now if we are to avert the worst global effects of climate change. WWF is calling on the Government to commit to reduce the UK’s CO2 emissions by at least 80% by 2050 in the Climate Change Bill, and for this to include emissions from aviation and shipping.”
In Cheshire, the year started unusually warm with January over three degrees higher than average figures for the month, reaching an average maximum temperature of 9.8°C.
This trend continued into spring with a dramatic increase in temperatures which saw April over four degrees warmer than the average maximum for the region at 16.3°C.
The temperature rises were matched by increased rainfall as 2007 saw 922.5mm fall on the county, an increase of 13% on the long-term average.
Mr Butfield added: “It looks like we are beginning to see impacts of climate change in the UK which are already being felt on a much greater scale around the world, particularly in developing countries.
“From an increase in the melting of summer ice at the poles, to rising sea levels threatening pacific island states, climate change is real and we need to take action now.”
To find out how you can show your support for a strong Climate Change Bill visit: getonboard.wwf.org.uk