The Environment Agency plans our response to flooding and other major environmental incidents on the basis of what we call the Reasonable Worst Case scenario. The RWC for climate sounds like this: Much higher sea levels will take out most of the world’s cities, displace millions, and make much of the rest of our land surface uninhabitable or unusable. Much more extreme weather will kill more people through drought, flooding, wildfires and heatwaves than most wars have. The net effects will collapse ecosystems, slash crop yields, take out the infrastructure that our civilisation depends on, and destroy the basis of the modern economy and modern society. If that sounds like science fiction let me tell you something you need to know. This is that over the last few years the Reasonable Worst Case for several of the flood incidents the EA has responded to has actually happened, and the Reasonable Worst Case scenarios are getting larger. The impacts of the changing climate are already being felt. In Storm Christoph last month we saw rivers, including the Mersey, rise to levels that did not just break records but smash them. In many parts of the country the waters got to within a centimetre of the top of our flood defences. Those defences protected 49,000 homes and families from the destruction, damage and misery flooding causes. Sadly some 500 homes did flood, and every one of those is personal tragedy. But it was nearly much, much worse.
Environment Agency 25th Feb 2021 read more »
The Atlantic current system which maintains mild weather in Europe is at its weakest in over a millennium, most likely because of climate change, scientists have found. The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation is part of a system of ocean currents which acts as a conveyor belt to move water around the Earth, redistributing heat and acting as a key link in maintaining the world’s climate. It began a serious slowdown around 1850 and is now at its lowest point in 1,000 years, according to a new study in the journal Nature Geoscience. It is not certain what the impact of further weakening will be on weather patterns, but scientists believe it could bring more heatwaves in Europe, and sea level rise on the east coast of the US.
Telegraph 25th Feb 2021 read more »
Times 26th Feb 2021 read more »
Guardian 25th Feb 2021 read more »
UN chiefs want to transform the world by putting nature back at the heart of global decision-making, arguing that the global economic shutdown triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic is an opportunity to change the planet for the better: for a stable climate, for cleaner air and water, and for a richer natural environment, thanks to the UN survival plan. The goal? A more sustainable and more equitable world by 2030, a carbon-neutral world by 2050, a curb on global pollution and waste and a halt to ever-accelerating rates of wildlife extinction worldwide. The methods? One of the first, in Making Peace With Nature, the new United Nations Environment Programme report, will be to incorporate what conservationists call “natural capital” into measures of national economic performance.
Climate News Network 26th Feb 2021 read more »