SEEING footage of extreme weather and hearing about melting icebergs and warming oceans has become commonplace when turning on the news or picking up a newspaper.

Climate change is the topic on everyone’s lips, but it’s easy to feel detached from it all when hearing about it from the comfort of your own home.

But the figures are startling. The planet’s average surface temperature has risen by about 1.62F since the late 19th century, as humans continue to add heat-trapping greenhouse gases to the atmosphere.

The heat is melting glaciers, causing sea levels to rise and causing more intense heat waves. According to UNESCO, the coral reefs in all 29 reef-containing World Heritage sites would cease to exist by the end of this century if we continue to emit greenhouse gases in the way that we currently are.

And the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said a 1.5C average rise in temperatures may put 20 to 30 per cent of species at risk of extinction.

Last week, Northumberland County Council moved to agree that the situation is severe. It said it “must do more” to reduce its carbon footprint and said it was to declare a ‘climate emergency’.

It is aiming to half its carbon footprint by 2025 and make Northumberland carbon neutral by 2030, and it pledges to work with the Government to achieve this.

Council leader Peter Jackson urged others to do all they can to tackle climate change too. He said: “While we will be doing all we can to reduce our carbon emissions, a key part of our response to climate change is promoting and facilitating wider behaviour change – this is not an issue just for the council – it’s an issue for every one of us.”

The move comes as campaign groups are being formed in communities from Tynedale to further afield to push for action. Northumberland County Council had come under pressure from campaign group Climate Action Northumberland to make the move, that had already been taken by councils in Newcastle and Durham, as well as by the UK government and the new North of Tyne mayor.

The environment is now cited by people as the third most pressing issue facing the nation in tracking data from the polling company YouGov, behind Brexit and health.

Youngsters in Tynedale are among those stepping up to highlight their concerns about the climate. In March, more than 250 schoolchildren took to Hexham Bandstand to coincide with protests across the world for School Strike for Climate Action.

The strikes were inspired by Swedish teenager Greta Thunberg, who last year skipped school and sat in front of the Swedish parliament in protest against inaction on climate change. She has gone on to push world leaders to step up to the monumental challenge of tackling climate change, and in the global school strike was joined by more than a million young people.

The Hexham event was organised by Hexham Youth for Climate, a subsidiary group of Hexham Climate Action, which was started earlier this year to bring people in Tynedale together to learn from each other.

The issue became even more high profile in April when civil disobedience group Extinction Rebellion organised 10 days of demonstrations in London, blocking roads and public transport.

As one of the signs held up by a youngster at Hexham’s protest pointed out, “there’s no planet B”.