The climate in Great Britain is
generally mild and temperate due to the influence of the Gulf Stream. The
south-western winds carry the warmth and moisture into Britain. The climate in
Britain is usually described as cool, temperate and humid.
British people say: "Other
countries have a climate, in England we have weather."
The weather in Britain changes very
quickly. One day may be fine and the next day may be wet. The morning may be
warm and the evening may be cool. Therefore it is natural for the people to use
the comparison "as changeable as the weather" of a person who often
changes his mood or opinion about something. The weather is the favourite topic
of conversation in Britain. When two Englishmen are introduced to each other,
if they can't think of any thing else to talk about, they talk about weather.
When two people meet in the street they will often say something about weather
as they pass, just to show their friendliness.
Every daily paper publishes a
weather forecast. Both the radio and television give the weather forecast
several times each day.
The English also say that they have
three variants of weather: when it rains in the morning, when it rains in the
afternoon or when in rains all day long. Sometimes it rains so heavily that
they say "It's raining cats and dogs".
Rainfall is more or less even
throughout the year. In the mountains there is heavier rainfall then in the
plains of the south and east. The driest period is from March to June and the
wettest months are from October to January. The average range of temperature
(from winter to summer) is from 15 to 23 degrees above zero. During a normal
summer the temperature sometimes rises above 30 degrees in the south. Winter
temperatures below 10 degrees are rare. It seldom snows heavily in winter, the
frost is rare. January and February are usually the coldest months, July and
August the warmest. Still the wind may bring winter cold in spring or summer
days. Sometimes it brings the whirlwinds or hurricanes. Droughts are rare.
So, we may say that the British
climate has three main features: it is mild, humid and changeable. That means
that it is never too hot or too cold. Winters are extremely mild. Snow may come
but it melts quickly. In winter the cold is humid cold, not the dry one.
This humid and mild climate is good
for plants. The trees and flowers begin to blossom early in spring.
In the British homes there has been
no central heating up till recently. The fireplaces are often used. but the
coal is not used as it's very expensive. Britain has no good coal now and
imports it itself. Many schools and universities have no central heating
either, and the floors there are made of stone. The British bedroom is
especially cold, sometimes electric blankets or hotwater bottles are used.
Britain was originally a land of
vast forests. mainly oak and beech in the Lowlands and pine and birch In the
Highlands, with great stretches of marshland and smaller areas of moors. In the
course of time, much forest land was cleared and almost all Lowlands outside
the industrial areas were put under cultivation. Today only about 6 per cent of
the total land area remains wooded.
Extensive forests remain in eastern
and northern Scotland and in south-eastern and western England. Oak, elm, ash,
and beech are the commonest trees in England, while Scotland has much pine and
birch. The Highlands with thin soil are largely moorland with heather and
grasses. In the cultivated areas that make up most of Britain there are many
wild flowers, flowering plants and grasses.
The fauna or animal life of Britain
is much like that of north-western Europe, to which it was once joined. Many
larger mammals such as bear, wolf have been hunted to extinction, others are
now protected by law. There are many foxes. Otters are common along rivers and
streams, and seals live along much of the coast. Hedgehogs, hares, rabbits,
rats and mice are numerous. Deer live in some of the forests in the Highlands
of Scotland and England.
Some 230 kinds of birds live in
Britain, and another 200 are regular visitors, many are songbirds. The most
numerous are blackbirds, sparrow and starling. Robin Redbreast is the national
bird of Britain. The number of ducks, geese and other water fowl has diminished
during recent years.
There are many threats to wildlife
and ecological balance around the coast. The biggest threat to the coastline is
pollution. Even much-loved
Blackpool is not officially asafe.
More than 3.500 million tons of industrial waste is pumped into the North Sea
every year. "We cannot continue to use our seas as a dustbin and expect
our coastline to survive," says Greenpeace. Many other ecological problems
may be caused by privatization of the coast. Many of the rivers are
"biologically dead", i.e. unable to support fish and wildlife.
Why is the climate in Britain
generally mild and temperate?
What do British people say about
weather and climate in their country?
What variants of weather do British
What main features has British
Is the humid and mild climate of
Great Britain good for plants and flowers?
Do British people believe weather
Are winters frosty?
Does it often snow in winter?
Why is it natural for British people
to use the comparison 'as changeable as the weather'?
What do British people say when it
rains so heavily?
What do British people do to warm
themselves when it is cold?
What are the warmest and the coldest
Was Great Britain originally a land
of vast forests?
Where do extensive forests remain?
What trees grow in Great Britain?
What animals are numerous in Great
How many kinds of birds live in
Great Britain? Which of them are the most numerous?
What is the national bird of Great
Does the country have any ecological
What is Greenpeace?
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