One day can be hot and cloudy, the next cold and sunny - these day to day changes are the weather. The weather in the UK doesn't tend to stay the same for long. One day it's windy, the next it's raining, the day after that it's windy and raining then we might get some sunshine. So, weather is always changing. But now we regularly hear about climate change. Climate reflects long-term weather patterns, so when we talk about climate change, we're talking about long-term changes to the weather. Over decades and centuries, climate changes - places become drier, wetter, hotter or colder. Recently, we have become more and more concerned that the climate is changing faster than it would naturally and that it's our actions that are causing the acceleration in climate change.
Our weather often surprises us. 1976 was one of the driest years on record with some parts of the UK going without rain for 45 days. The hottest ever day in the UK was recorded as the 25th July 2019 at 38.7°C and the most rainfall in one whole day was recorded in 1955 when nearly 3 metres of rain fell - that's taller than the world's tallest man - what a downpour! More recently 2014 has been recorded as the hottest year on record. The decade from 2009 to 2019 was the second hottest in the past 100 years in the UK. 8 new high-temperature records were set, including four in 2019 alone, including the highest winter and summer temperatures ever recorded.
We're well adapted to deal with such weather extremes and can hide in our houses from strong winds, we can build defences for floods and get shelter from the sun - but other animals aren't so lucky. This factsheet takes a look at some of the challenges that animals might have to face in the future. How does climate change affect them?Read More: Frogs, Toads and Newts