Importance of Natural Resources

UK weather forecast: How climate change affects the UK’s microclimates – News 247

 The dangers of climate change have been outlined once again this week, as severe rain leaves communities in the UK struggling under rising floodwaters According to experts, flooding will become more commonplace as the climate continues to change, with local authorities now charged with building better defences Climate change is expected to impact the entirety of the UK, including the country’s microclimates    Microclimates are small or restricted areas where the local climate is different from the surrounding area  The geographical makeup of the locality, such as land height, which alters the amount of heat or water trapped near the surface, determines the climate  Microclimates may have on average warmer or colder temperatures than other areas in the region    READ MORE BBC Weather: Carol Kirkwood warns of sub-zero Arctic freeze to hit UK  Express talked to Professor Adam Scaife, head of long-range forecasting at the Met Office and professor of mathematics at Exeter University, about microclimates in the UK  Professor Scaife said a prime example of a microclimate in the British Isles is at the Axmouth undercliff, located on the south coast of Devon  The Axmouth undercliff is sheltered from the sea by a wall of limestone, behind which rock has eroded to provide a unique breeding ground for rare species  The warm, moist climate is ideal for reptiles and amphibians, including the Common Lizard, Great Crested Newt, and Grass Snake   Climate change threatens to alter temperatures and ecosystems on a global scale  The UK’s microclimates are not safe from any incoming changes to the country as a whole, according to Professor Scaife  He said local microclimates would suffer if overall temperatures changed in the UK   READ MORE Venice panic: Iconic city submerged by worst floods in 50 years as  Professor Scaife said: “While the local climate is often determined by local small scale factors such as altitude, water supply, vegetation etc, the change from one period to the next is not – this is determined mainly by large scale fluctuations, often on the country or continental scale  “For example, during the cold winters of 2009 and 2010, the whole UK was cold as were local microclimates, as was the whole of NW Europe  “This is also the reason that it is easier to measure the change in temperature over a large region than it is to measure the absolute temperature because the change is smooth over large areas ” He added: “In regions with unusual microclimates temperatures are more likely to follow the large scale trend than rainfall which is more dependent on atmospheric winds and local orography (mountain features) ” Trending  Many different nations are currently dealing with the dangerous effects of climate change  Recent devastating fires in Australia and advancing tides in the Italian city of Venice have led more leaders to declare an unavoidable link between natural disasters and the shifting climate  The International Energy Agency (IEA) said carbon emissions are still peaking, despite progress towards renewable energy sources  The IEA’s executive director Dr Fatih Birol said there is a need for “great political will around the world” to make urgent changes and curb the effects of climate change

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