November 26, 2018 / 10:41 AM / 18 days ago

Britain faces hotter, drier summers and wetter winters by 2070s: research

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain is likely to experience hotter, drier summers and warmer, wetter winters by the 2070s, as well as rising sea levels which can lead to floods, due to the effects of climate change, long-term projections by the Met Office show.

FILE PHOTO: Beachgoers cool down in the sea during hot weather at Brighton in southern Britain, August 3, 2018. REUTERS/Toby Melville

To help homes and businesses plan for the future, a report based on science from the Met Office and around the world sets out a range of climate scenarios over the next century based on different rates of greenhouse gas emissions released into the atmosphere.

UK Climate Projections 2018 shows rising summer temperatures, more extreme weather and rising sea levels are expected in Britain and urgent action is needed.

Even in the lowest-emission scenario, average annual temperatures are expected to be up to 2.3 degrees Celsius (4.14°F) higher by the end of the century.

In the highest-emissions scenario, summer temperatures could be up to 5.4C (9.72°F) higher by 2070 and winters up to 4.2C (7.56°F) higher.

The chance of a summer as hot as this year is about 50 percent by 2050. This summer was the joint hottest on record, when a six-week spell of hot weather saw daytime temperatures in many parts of the country regularly over 30C (86°F).

The report said average summer rainfall could fall by up to 47 percent by 2070 and winter rainfall could be up to 35 percent higher.

Meanwhile, sea levels could rise by up to 1.15 meters (3.77 ft) by 2100, which increases the risk of flooding.

“Sea levels are projected to rise over the 21st century and beyond under all emission scenarios – meaning we can expect to see an increase in both the frequency and magnitude of extreme water levels around the UK coastline,” the Met Office said in a statement.

Although Britain has already reduced emissions by more than 40 percent since 1990, the projections show a future Britain could face without further action, it added.

The report was developed by the Met Office Hadley Center, in partnership with the government and the Environment Agency. It is the first major update on Britain’s climate projections since 2009.

(This story corrects seventh paragraph to say there will be 35 percent more rainfall in winter, not less)

Reporting by Nina Chestney, Editing by William Maclean

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