The UK Climate Projections for 2009 (UKCP09), which has been informed by scientific data from the UK Met Office, has been released today, and provides an alarming insight into the potential effects of global warming on the UK climate. The projections include an array of scenarios including changes in temperature that we would expect to encounter, variation in rainfall, humidity and cloud cover across the year.
The report highlights the information based on high, low and medium amounts of emissions, and provides projections of expected climate change in the 2020s, 2050s and 2080s. The projections have been based on information put together from 400 variations of the Met Centre’s Hadley Office climate change computer model, and as well as providing a number of pre-prepared maps and graphs, enables users to create their own custom made maps and projections within a 25sq km.
According to the information in the reports, we can expect warmer, wetter winters and hotter, drier summers. There are warnings that during the winter, the north of England could experience more flooding, and that the summer months could cause greater problems for the south in terms of water shortages, a matter that is already of concern. In addition it is predicted that an average temperature increase of 2°C is inevitable, however increases of between 6 and 12 degrees are not out of the question if carbon emissions continue to rise drastically. Executive Director of Friends of the Earth, Andy Atkins responded to the projections, saying they are,
“an important wake-up call on the need for urgent action to slash emissions.”
Environmental groups are calling on the government to heed the warning expressed by the projections, and ensure they take advantage of the opportunity at the Copenhagen Climate Summit in December to take decisive action against further contributions to man made climate change while they have the change to do so. Andy Atkins said,
“The UK Government must show real global leadership ahead of December’s crucial UN climate summit by agreeing to cut our emissions by at least 42 per cent by 2020 – without any offsetting – and ensuring that tackling global warming is at the heart of every policy.”