The United Kingdom has seen an average rise in temperatures of around one degree since the 1970s. Brought about by the warming effects of greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide predominantly, this could lead to changes which will require adaption in many areas.
Here are some of the main impacts which could possibly affect the UK within the near future if carbon emissions continue at their current rate:
Increased risk of flooding
Climate change simulations indicate that winters are set to become much wetter. This increased rain will lead to an increased risk of flooding in the low lying areas surrounding rivers and lakes. Bad decisions by planners has led to a large amount of new housing being built upon floodplains, further increasing the risks associated with increased rainfall. Risks of overloading our current sewer systems may lead to contamination to fresh water sources such as lakes and rivers.
Rises in sea level could have impacts far beyond simply requiring money to be spent on improving defences. Coastal ecosystems may be affected, leading to the loss of many native species of plants, birds and animals.
Hotter and drier summers
Although hotter and drier summers will be welcomed by many people, especially those within the tourism industry, it won’t all be sunshine. The UK has an aging population putting many people at risk in hotter temperatures. Another risk comes from heat causing damage to transport networks, most notably railway tracks and roads.
Increases in average temperature will lead to increased demand for clean water. This will place stress upon our current water purification and distribution networks, requiring yet more money to be spent on upgrading and replacing their infrastructure.
Hotter summers may lead to droughts, with heat-waves and droughts becoming the rule as opposed to the exception.
Changes in habitat
Native species are always at the highest risk from climate change and the resulting changes in their habitat. This may lead to some animals migrating further north to seek cooler temperatures. Invasive foreign species are also a threat, causing native plants and animals to compete for space and food. One species being seriously affected by climate change can have consequences to other parts of the ecosystem, leading to knock-on effects countrywide.
The extent of these impacts still remains to be seen, as the exact effects of climate change are yet to be experienced. However, without proper preparation in terms of infrastructure and technology, any effects will most likely be negative.
One of the ways the effects of climate change could be reduced is through good energy practices in domestic and commercial properties. To find out more about how you can help contribute towards lowering carbon emissions through the installation of energy saving measures in your home, contact us today.
What do you think the future holds for the UK if emission levels are not reduced? Let us know by tweeting us @greendealshop.