Tuesday, February 26, 2008

New report: "Tomorrow's England"

New report on climate change impacts in the southeast of England. Tomorrow’s England: …As the Mediterranean becomes too hot as a comfortable holiday destination, the south coast would be become a more desirable alternative with August temperatures regularly in excess of 30ºC. This would reduce carbon emissions from air travel and airport expansion; however, the increased heat could prove disastrous for transport across the region.

Hot spells could cause chaos on the roads as road surfaces suffer. On the trains, speed restrictions from buckled and fractured rails or trackside fires would become the norm but frozen points would be a thing of the past.

These higher temperatures would also impact on the health of the region. Scientists say the death rate increases 3.3 per cent for every degree rise in temperature above 21.5C while instances of food poisoning would become more frequent.

Flash floods and storm surges are set to increase as the climate changes; this will particularly affect the low-lying South East, impacting thousands of homes and businesses in addition to industrial areas. Hosepipe bans would become permanent as water became more scarce and expensive, especially as water demand in the region is due to rise by 11% over the next 23 years.

1905 map of England, Wikimedia Commons.

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