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Britain faces severe warming by 2080s - study
Published in Saudi Press Agency on 18 - 06 - 2009


Climate change could lead to a
rise in average summer temperatures in parts of Britain that is
nearly double the level which the European Union and others say
is dangerous, Reuters cited a study as saying today.
The government-backed report warned that southeast England
could see a 3.9 Celsius (7 Fahrenheit) rise in average summer
temperatures by the 2080s unless global action was taken to curb
planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions.
That would lead to heatwaves, droughts, lower crop yields
and more pests and disease, the long-awaited report by Britain's
leading climate change scientists said.
The European Union wants global average temperatures not to
exceed 2 degrees above pre-industrial levels, although many see
that target as being increasingly hard to meet.
Britain's Environment Secretary Hilary Benn said it was too
late to reverse the damage likely to be caused over the next 20
to 30 years by emissions already released into the atmosphere.
However, he said countries could still influence what
happens in the 2080s and beyond if they agreed to cut emissions
at international climate change talks in Copenhagen in December.
"These results are sobering and we know that these changes
will affect every aspect of our daily lives," Benn told
parliament. "Only by cutting emissions through a global deal in
Copenhagen can we avoid some of these extreme changes."
The report was released two days after U.S. President Barack
Obama's government warned that climate change had already caused
"visible impacts" in the United States, especially for farmers
and the energy industry.
SWELTERING LONDON
The UK study forecast a 2-6C (3.6-10.8F) rise in
temperatures across the southeast by the 2080s, with a most
likely figure of 3.9C. London temperatures could reach 40C.
If emissions were allowed to rise significantly, the
report's authors said average temperatures could get even
higher.
Some parts of England may see a 22 percent cut in average
summer rainfall, while the northwest could have 16 percent less
rain during winter. The sea level in the southeast is projected
to rise by 18 cm (7.1 inches) by 2040 and 36 cm by 2080.
The changing weather could lead to more flooding, storm
surges at ports in eastern England and a greater risk to farmers
from drought, crop diseases and heat stress among livestock.
However, the study said businesses might benefit from more
demand for products to help cope with the changing environment,
the ability to grow different crops and an increase in tourism.
The UK Climate Impacts Programme used computers owned by
Britain's Met Office, the government weather centre, to estimate
how the climate will change due to global warming if action is
not taken to cut emissions. Its last report was in 2002.
Scientists cautioned that their study was "not a long-range
weather forecast", rather a set of possible scenarios based on
the best available science. It can be found at


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