Impacts Of Climate Change On The Uk – New research from the Met Office provides examples of how climate change is likely to affect two of Britain’s most important agricultural sectors.
A study published in the journal Climate Risk Management examines the effects of climate change on dairy and potato farming over the next 30-50 years.
Impacts Of Climate Change On The Uk
The study found that heat stress in dairy cattle is predicted to increase significantly in the UK’s main dairy regions, particularly in South West England. The study also dealt with the effects of climate change on late blight, a disease affecting the potato crop that occurs in warm and humid weather, in the potato sector.
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Dr. Freya Garry is the author of the study. He said: “Projections show that climate change could have significant impacts on UK farming. Our research found that future dairy cattle in parts of the South East could be exposed to heat stress for an extra two months a year. Currently, cattle in the South East experience these stressful conditions for around one week a year.
The largest dairy herd in the UK is the South West, with around 750,000 dairy cattle (according to the latest figures from Defra). The study shows that heat stress conditions are met for about two to three days a year, but in the period 2051-2070 this may stretch to about a month a year on average.
The study is based on a climate projection known as RCP 8.5: a high-emissions future. The pathway is plausible because mitigation measures for the more drastic greenhouse gas emissions represented by other pathways cannot be guaranteed. Dr Garry added: “Given the potentially serious consequences for UK agriculture, we felt it was appropriate to work with a high-impact scenario. Even with lower emission pathways, we know our climate is still changing, so even if the impacts are smaller than identified in this study, our research provides useful information for adaptation planning .
On average, the areas of East England and South East England are likely to have the highest number of days per year when cattle experience heat stress – on average around a month and a half across the region. Locally, some areas in these areas, such as near London, have more days, while others have less. Other areas of the UK likely to experience prolonged periods of heat stress in dairy cattle include the West Midlands and East Midlands, both of which could increase heat stress conditions by an average of about one month a year under future climates using these projections.
Effects Of Climate Change
In the future climate, 30 to 50 years from now, late blight (a disease affecting the potato crop that occurs in warm, wet weather) is likely to be more common across the UK, with the greatest increase in western and northern regions. In eastern Scotland, where potatoes are currently grown, potato blight can occur about 70% more often. Most potatoes are grown in the east of the UK, where potato blight is less common, and therefore the growth in key potato-growing areas of England is likely to be lower, between 20% and 30% of current levels.
Both livestock feed, human crops and potato farming are threatened by increasing drought in the future, which we tend to experience during particularly hot, dry summers such as 2018. Last year, another team of researchers from the Met Office showed that summer temperatures of 2018 could occur every other year by mid-century . In this work, the researchers also look at how often we are likely to see both hot and dry summer months in the 21st century, and how this is likely to increase.
The paper “Future Climate Risk for UK Agriculture from Complex Events” is published in Climate Risk Management. This work was funded by the UK Climate Resilience Strategic Priority Fund. The UK Climate Resilience program is supported by the UKRI Strategic Priorities Fund. The program is delivered by the Met Office and NERC on behalf of UKRI partners AHRC, EPSRC and ESRC. The effects of climate change are already being felt all over the world, but also here in Great Britain.
In general, the UK has hotter, drier summers and wetter, milder winters, and these effects will be accentuated as temperatures rise due to global warming.
How Will Climate Change Affect The Uk?
In addition to warmer weather, extreme weather events such as floods and storms are also increasing in frequency and severity, causing huge disruptions, economic losses and life-threatening injuries. The Met Office recently released its ‘State of the UK Climate’ report, which shows how the UK has broken a number of climate records recently, and it’s no cause for celebration.
This video explains how the warmer the UK gets, the greater the effects and costs of global warming will be on us.
Global warming has many effects, but the biggest effects are on people, wildlife and the economy; water is key. Ironically, either too much or too little. In addition to drought and torrential rains, heat waves, pests and diseases, forest fires and superstorms are increasing worldwide. Below is a brief overview of each, but adapting to these effects provides a way to reduce the risk they pose and increase resilience.
There are five consecutive days of heatwaves with temperatures above the average maximum of 5 degrees C. Heat stroke is common in the UK in hot weather as we are not used to very hot weather. Pregnant women, children and the elderly are especially prone to overheating because their body’s ability to cool down is reduced and overheating is exacerbated by hot nights.
Confronting The Health Challenges Of Climate Change
Everyone can take steps to stay cool. Stay out of the summer sun by finding shade or staying indoors, loose clothing and frequent sips of cool water are just a few tips. For more information about heatwaves, contact the Red Cross or the NHS.
Precipitation generally decreases with global warming, so the demand for water increasingly exceeds the supply. Water shortages are not unusual in the UK, with the hosepipe ban a recent memory for most people. Winter rains fill water basins and underground aquifers, from which drinking water is obtained. Dry winters reduce water reserves, which together with summer drought and increased demand leads to water shortages. There is a 20% chance that demand will outstrip supply here in the UK by 2050.
Hotter summers lead to drier soil and gardens, so more water is needed to irrigate crops and flowers. Drought also affects nature. For example, climate change increases the risk to bees because they depend on plants that are affected by drought.
Cape Town in 2018 became the first modern city to almost run out of water, but many other cities around the world are at risk. Long-term water shortages seem to be increasing, and “water wars” are becoming more and more a reality. According to the World Water Development Report, more than 5 billion people could face water shortages by 2050 due to climate change, increased demand and polluted supplies.
Public Opinion On Climate Change
Due to the long rainy periods in the summer, the forests and especially the undergrowth are dry, so when a fire starts, these dry conditions prove to be ideal for wildfires. Fires can start from a spark, arson, or often lightning, and can spread quickly if the flames are fanned by strong winds. Wood acts as fuel for the fire, so the fire spreads quickly between the trees, unless it is limited by large gaps between the forests (fire breaks) or unless water is used to water the flames. Forest fires can burn for a long time, especially where the forests are remote and unmanaged, because there is nothing to stop them from spreading and there is a lot of fuel to burn.
Although it is unusual for hurricanes to hit the UK, it is not unheard of. However, the UK is experiencing the strong winds and heavy rains that follow hurricanes. The warmer the ocean, the stronger the hurricanes become. As the temperature rises, more destruction is unleashed as hurricanes or typhoons, as cyclones are called, grow and therefore last longer on Earth. Warmer air also holds more water, so the rains can be particularly heavy even in the summer months and cause flooding.
In Great Britain, one in six properties is at risk of flooding. According to the OECD, 1.2 billion people around the world are at risk of flooding. However, in the coming decades, this number is set to increase to nearly one in five people on the planet, and the economic value of assets at risk is estimated to reach US$45 trillion by 2050.
Floods also affect farmland, and food cannot be grown in fields that are covered with water.
Summary For Policymakers — Global Warming Of 1.5 ºc
As an island nation, we have many communities living along the coast or rivers that are already flooded