January 26, 2012

Climate Change Report Shows U.K. Impact By 2080

According to the first U.K. climate impact report, climate change poses both risks and opportunities to Britain by 2080.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs' 2,000-page report says that flooding, heat waves and water shortages could become more likely this century.

The research was carried out over the past three years and involved studying the possible impacts in 11 key areas, including agriculture, flooding and transport.

Authors of the study said that there are still large uncertainties leading to a wide range of possible results for how climate change will impact Britain over the next century.

The report says there will be water shortages in the north, south and east of England, especially the Thames Valley area, by the 2080s.

Also by 2080, the increased damage from flooding could costs between $3.2 billion and $18 billion dollars.

It found that hotter summers will lead to between 580 to 5900 deaths above average per year by the 2050s.

However, despite the negative impacts, the report says there will be some positive impacts from climate change seen as well.

It said that melting of Arctic sea ice will open shorter shipping routes to Asia, and that wheat yields will increase by 40 to 140 percent by the 2050s.

The report also said that milder winters will lead to 3,900 to 24,000 fewer premature deaths by the 2050s.

The department's report said the sea-level in London could rise later this century to anything between 11-inches and 74-inches.

"It shows what life could be like if we stopped our preparations now, and the consequences such a decision would mean for our economic stability," Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman told BBC.

The authors admitted they do not know how fast greenhouse gas emissions will rise, how great the cooling effects will be, or how quickly the ice caps may melt.

The assessments of the report relied on multiple scenarios based on computer modeling of the future climate.


On the Net: