Monday, September 29, 2008

Britain faces spring floods and summer droughts

Mail On Sunday (UK): Britain faces a growing number of devastating spring floods followed by droughts, climate experts have warned. Europe is warming faster than the world average, and this will result in a wetter north and a desert-like Mediterranean region, they said. Britain will suffer because our 'return period' - meteorological jargon for the time between extreme weather events - is getting shorter. Floods that occurred once every 100 years could happen every decade.

Experts from all over Europe were brought together to study computer models of the way the world climate is likely to go based on recent events. They predicted that European heatwaves like those in 2003, during which 70,000 people died, could be more frequent. The experts concluded that although the British Isles will get more rain, it will come mostly in spring deluges.

Unless we find ways of channelling and saving this water, it will be lost, to be followed by summer droughts, said European flood expert Luc Feyen. Mr Feyen, a Belgian based in Italy, said: ‘Floods in Britain may increase by 40 per cent, or even more.’

Europe’s speedy change is due to a complex mix of environmental factors, including the large land mass, the height of mountain ranges, less ocean and lakes than other areas, and the Gulf Stream which carries warm ocean currents to Britain from Florida, said European Environment Agency spokesman Oscar Romero….

J. M. W. Turner - Rain, Steam and Speed - The Great Western Railway (1844), oil on canvas, National Gallery, London

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

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Douglass Montrose-Graem
Founder The Turner Museum
Sarsota Florida