Saturday, August 23, 2008

Study issues warning over sea levels

Journal Live (UK): Climate change is set to cause an increase in severe weather in Northumberland by 2050, it is predicted. Storms, flooding caused by heavy rainfall and heatwaves will become increasingly common, warns the Northumberland Strategic Partnership in its document The Strategic Framework for Climate Change Planning in Northumberland.

The report outlines how climate change is expected to affect Northumberland in coming decades and identifies ways the county can prepare itself. It is Northumberland’s response to the findings of the North East Adaptation Study and is currently out to consultation.

The study says the county can expect an increase in overall temperatures and a significant change in rainfall patterns. But it says the increase in severe weather will be one of the biggest effects. The report states: “Experience in the county and elsewhere in the UK highlight the potential these events have for major disruption and potential for damage to buildings and infrastructure, and even loss of life.

“Northumberland’s topography and coastal location mean the current area of Northumberland at risk from flooding will increase; a risk in the occurrence and intensity of severe weather events leading to flooding will be a significant challenge to the county in future decades.”…

The report says heatwaves are likely to increase both in duration and intensity with more events above 28C. Research estimates a high probability of abnormally high European temperatures so events such as the 2003 heatwave will by the end of the 21st Century occur every other year. The report also predicts that between now and 2050 there is likely to be a rise in sea level of about 0.3m – almost a foot….

Craster Harbor (or Harbour for those who flinch at American spelling), Northumberland. Photo by Jeandunston, Wikimedia Commons, under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License, Version 1.2

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