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Stark Warning: Adapt or Die

Stark Warning: Adapt or Die 13 October 2021

‘Adapt or die’ warning from Environment Agency (via BBC)

By David Shukman

Hundreds of people could die in floods in the UK, the Environment Agency has warned in a hard–hitting report that says the country is not ready for the impact of climate change.

Earlier this year in Germany, dozens of people died in floods.

“That will happen in this country sooner or later” unless the UK becomes more resilient to increasingly violent weather, the agency concludes.

Emma Howard Boyd, chair of the agency, said: “It is adapt or die.”

The apocalyptic tone is deliberately intended to startle governments, companies and communities into preparing for global warming effects such as higher sea levels and more extremes of rainfall and drought.

The new report, seen by the BBC ahead of its publication on Wednesday, assesses the country’s readiness to cope with the many different risks of climate change.

In its response, environment department Defra said it was taking key measures to protect the UK from the effects of global warming.

We are currently heading for an increase in the global average temperature of just under 3C by the end of the century.

But the agency projects that even a smaller rise of 2C would have severe consequences:

  • Winter rainfall up by 6% by the 2050s and 8% by the 2080s (compared with 1981–2000)
  • Summer rainfall down by about 15% by the 2050s
  • London’s sea level up by 23cm by the 2050s and 45cm by the 2080s
  • By the 2050s, peak river flows could be up 27% while summer flows could be down as much as 82%
  • An extra 3.4 billion litres of extra water needed every day before 2050, on top of the 15 billion used now

According to Ms Howard Boyd: “We can successfully tackle the climate emergency if we do the right things, but we are running out of time to implement effective adaptation measures.

Read the full story here.