Tag Archives: extreme weather

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100 Days later: Lessons from this winter’s storms

Birling Gap

Bad weather causing problems for seabirds

Ed Brown Photography

Looks like a lot of seabirds around the coast of Wales are suffering due to the weather we’ve been having, this little guy was taken in Skomer, one of the areas affected and somewhere I hope to visit again later this year.

Atlantic Puffin - Fratercula arctica

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Climate change blamed for storms

Storms continue to batter Britain


Huge waves batter Newhaven Lighthouse. Pic by Getty.

Scientists from the Met Office have described this winter as the wettest on record and have warned that the recent stormy weather could be linked to climate change.

In an open letter published in The Times and signed by weather experts, including the Met Office’s chief scientist Dame Julia Slingo, said the risk of flooding is increasing with global warming.

The letter  states: “We have looked at the potential influence of climate change and all the evidence from observations, theory and models which show that a warming world leads to more intense daily and hourly rainfall. When we add rising sea levels, then the risk to our communities from serious flooding and coastal inundation are increasing with climate change.”

Climate change ‘likely to be more severe than predicted’

Extreme weather has been much in evidence around the globe  this year, with superstorm Sandy’s devastating impact on New York being the most recent example. There has also been drought across much of the United States’s  grain-growing area, and problems with the Indian monsoon.

In the UK, one of the worst droughts on record gave way to the wettest spring recorded, damaging crops and pushing up prices.

Scientists who have been analysing climate models believe we can expect much more of this in future. A survey by the US National Centre for Atmospheric Research  has shown that climate change is likely to be more severe than some models have implied,  meaning more extreme weather, sooner than we expected.

The new finding come just weeks ahead of a crucial UN conference in Doha, where ministers will discuss the future of international action on greenhouse gas emissions. There has already been increasing evidence of a warming effect this year  – the Arctic’s summer ice sank to its lowest extent and volume yet recorded and experts have predicted that the Arctic seas could be ice-free in winter in the next decade.

The International Energy Agency warned earlier this year that on current emissions trends the world would be in for 6C of warming – a level scientists warn would lead to chaos.

Climate change ‘likely to be more severe than some models predict’ | Environment | guardian.co.uk.