Weather in Great Britain, in the Czech Republic

The weather in the Czech Republic
The Czech Republic has a continental climate which means the weather changes a lot during the year. There are four distinct seasons - in spring it is warm but with many cool, rainy days, in summer it can be very hot but it also rains quite a bit, in autumn the days are cool with foggy mornings, and in winter it gets quite cold and it can be windy and snowy. The highest temperatures occur in July and August when the temperature can go up to 35 degrees centigrade, but usually it only gets up to 25 or 30 degrees. January is usually the coldest month of the year with normal temperatures of around freezing to about 5 degrees. On extreme days the temperature can go down to 20 degrees below freezing. If you average the temperatures over the whole year, the Czech Republic has an average temperature of 9.8 degrees centigrade.

The weather in Great Britain
The weather in Britain is slightly milder than the weather in the Czech Republic. This is partly because Britain is surrounded by water. The water helps to control the temperatures and to keep them from being too extreme but it also contributes to the amount of rain that falls in Britain. In Britain they also have four distinct seasons. The winters have more snow than we do here but it isn't so cold. In spring it rains a lot but there are also sunny days. In summer the temperature can be over 30 degrees but that doesn't happen very often. In autumn there is also quite a bit of rain and cool days. In Britain the days during summer are slightly longer than they are here and the days in winter are slightly shorter. On average the Czech Republic has more days with sunshine than in Britain.
The seasons of the year

There are four seasons of the year - spring, summer, autumn and winter. Spring officially begins on March 21st. In spring there is a lot of rain and sunshine. The days slowly get longer and warmer so that plants begin to grow again. In summer, which begins June 21st, the days are usually hot and sunny but there can also be a lot of rain. Autumn, which begins on September 23rd, is probably best known as the season when the leaves on the trees change to bright colors. Autumn is also known for its windy weather. The days get shorter and colder as winter approaches. The season which begins December 22nd is winter. In winter the weather is cold and there is a lot of snow. I think living in a country where there are four distinct seasons is much more interesting than living someplace where the weather doesn't change much.
Man and environment - wildlife, animals, pollution, rain forest, ecology, weather
Civilization has brought people many advantages but its products also pollute and damage the environment in which we live. Pollution affects air, water, land, forest, people, animals and plants. Technology has an important role to play in reducing pollution and developing new means for reducing harmful emissions. It can be used to protect the environment in several ways, including basic changes which result in less waste or pollution and developing ways to recycle materials. Waste materials which were previously dumped can be converted into useful products. ‘End-of-pipe’ system can be installed to clean up emissions. And cleaner or less harmful alternative products may be manufactured.

Air pollution is the biggest problem in large cities and in areas with concentrated industrial production. Emissions range from smoke, dust, and smells to car and lorry exhausts [1]. Smoke contains sulphur dioxide, nitrogen oxide and carbon dioxide which are produced by coal-fired power stations and industrial plants burning fossil fuels. Substances such as sulphur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen dioxide (NO2) can cause major changes in the environment which can lead to climate changes. These substances mix with water vapour [2] in the atmosphere and from sulphuric acid and nitric acid. Sunlight turns these acids into poisonous oxidants which fall in the form of rain - acid rain - or snow onto trees and gradually kill them.

Trees are vitally important for our life because they are the lugs of our planet. They absorb carbon dioxide from the air and give out oxygen in return. In some parts of world, such as Asia and South America, trees are not threatened by pollution but by people. The great rain forest are being destroyed for firewood and building materials. Since the Amazon rain forest covers an area as large as the whole of Europe and contains one third of the world’s trees, scientists believe that it provides 50 per cent of the world’s annual production of oxygen. If we lose tropical forests, it will become more difficult, perhaps even impossible, to breathe. With more carbon dioxide in the air, the temperature will rise; the icecap at the North and South Poles will melt, and the sea level will rise which will results in the flooding of many coastal cities.

Several gases have been identified as contributing to the ‘greenhouse effect’, which can also cause climate change. Without the ‘greenhouse effect’ there could be no life on the Earth because the Earth is warmed up naturally by the atmosphere which traps solar radiation. But manmade atmospheric emissions, such as carbon dioxide (produced by burning the fossil fuels), nitrogen oxides (from car exhausts), CFCs (chlorfluorcarbons from aerosol and refrigerators), methane (a bioproduct of agriculture from rice, cattle and sheep) and water vapour prevent the heat  from escaping. The result is a rise in the Earth’s temperature, the melting of arctic ice and the flooding of areas situated near sea level.

Ozone is another air pollutant that contributes to the ‘greenhouse effect’ at lower atmospheric levels. It is produced by the reaction of sunlight on car exhaust fumes [3] and is a major air pollutant in hot summers. On the ground level ozone can cause asthma attacks, corrosion of certain materials and stunted growth of plants [4]. On the other hand, ozone forms a layer in the upper atmosphere which protects life on the Earth from ultraviolet rays, which is a cause of skin cancer. A continent-sized hole has formed over Antarctica as a result of damage of the ozone layer, caused in part by CFCs.

Smoke from coal fires which causes smog, also represents a considerable [5] problem in large cities and threatens life. How can the problems of air pollution b solved. First of all, people should try to use alternative sources of energy, such as solar, water, wind geothermal and perhaps tidal [6] energies, or at least to burn smokeless fuels – carbon dioxide emitted by power plants and industrial plants can be reduced by energy efficiency in the generation of power, for example by means of combined heat and power schemes to use waste heat from power station more efficiently as well as by switching from coal to high-efficiency gas-fired plants. In industry energy efficiency can be reached by means of low energy lighting or by looking for other sources of energy such as solar energy (mostly for domestic heating) or energy coming from methane from landfill waste sites, which will also contribute to reducing the threat of global warming.

There are more ways to reduce air pollution caused by road traffic. First it is possible to switch freight from road to railways and to support public transportation. Also, people should be encouraged to drive at the speed limit in order to use fuel more efficiently. Another way is to encourage tree planting, because trees absorb carbon dioxide. Then all new petrol-driven car will have to be fitted with three-way catalytic converters in their exhaust system which turn dangerous gases – e.g. oxides of nitrogen – into CO2, nitrogen and water vapour. Lead emissions can fall if we reduce lead content in petrol and encourage the use of unloaded petrol. All new cars also built to run on unloaded petrol and developed countries use a tax advantage to favour the use of it.

Among the measures which can reduce the amount of sulphur dioxide are switching from coal to gas for power generation, greater use of low-sulphur coal, and installation of fuel gas desulphuriation plants at some power stations. Water pollution results from harmful industrial processes and households, from pesticides and other chemicals used in agriculture, from waste disposal sites, substandard sewage [7], treatment plants and from ships. Concentrations of heavy metals, such as mercury, cadmium, lead or copper are increased. Nitrate can pollute inland waters by leaching from farmland. Much of this comes from organic nitrogen in the soil but some also from organic and inorganic fertiliser use.

If we want to have cleaner waterways, some measures must be taken. First, discharges to water from industrial processes should be controlled and the number of sewage treatment plants should be increased. We should also find technologies for having water and reduce the amount of chemicals. New technologies should develop environmentally friendly pesticides. Pollution occurring from waste silage effluent or slurry leaking and entering watercourses should be minimised or stopped. International agreements control dispersants spread onto it from specially equipped aircraft.

Soil can become contaminated as a result of industrial waste and other causes. Much domestic rubbish is disposed of in landfills. Waste disposal should be controlled and maintained properly. How do we reduce the waste which seems to grow more and more? Before waste is landfilled, it can be treated in other ways to reduce the volume of landfill it takes up - e.g. it can be shredded or compressed into bales.

But in many cases landfill can be avoided by re-using, recycling or energy recovery from the waste material. A great deal of industrial waste has traditionally been reclaimed. Not only bottle bins or containers, but also can containers, plastic containers and paper containers should be installed where other public can deposit used glass containers, cans, plastic and waste paper for recycling. Domestic rubbish should be sorted out too. Kitchen garbage and garden waste of organic origin can be composted and turned into fertiliser. Organic waste in landfills can be re-used in the form of biogas which comes from natural decay. Litter, dust and rubbish in the streets also threaten the environment. Everybody knows that it is wrong to litter but many people still do it. The law should be stricter on those who brake the rule and fines should be introduced for dumping waste.

Land can also become contaminated by radioactive substances. More than 80 per cent of radiation to which the public is exposed, comes from natural sources. Only about a thousandth of the total comes from the disposal or discharge of radioactive waste. Strict controls should be placed over the storage, use and disposal of radioactive substances. The storage of spent nuclear fuel is being discussed, but generally such as waste has to be stored in concrete blocks for at least 50 years to allow much of the heat and radioactivity to decay. People should also be aware of the hazard posed by naturally-occurring radon gas. Noise poses a considerable problem for many people. It results in street, lack of concentration, defective hearing or sleeplessness. Neighbourhood noise can be tacked in various ways. First of all, we should be considerate to one another. Noise from new motor vehicles and aircraft is regulated. Airport services are restricted at night.

Environmental protection
should also include animal and plant protection because the balance of species of plants and animals has also been affected by human activities. Some animals are protected, other are bred in captivity for release in the wild so they have the best chance of survival. Th introduction of new species (e.g. Colorado beetle or the grey squirrel) should be strictly controlled or even prohibited, because their increase in the number can easily slip out of control. The establishment on National Parks and Nature reserves provide protection, and also provide opportunities for outdoor recreation. What is the way out of these problems? It is evident that life, health and the environment are closely bound together. Let us hope that common sense will win over ignorant people. Remedies will not only be achieved by the important decisions of politicians but also by our everyday behaviour.

[1] výfukové plyny
[2] pára, výpar
[3] výpary, kouř
[4] brání vzrůstu rostlin
[5] značný
[6] přílivový
[7] odpadní vody
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