To understand climate change we must first identify the difference between weather and climate.
In simple terms:
- Weather is the temperature, precipitation and wind which continually changes, and
- Climate is the average weather we expect over a long period of time.
- Climate Change is therefore the change in weather patterns over the long term average.
Since the early 1900’s the climate has changed rapidly in response to man-made influences. There is wide ranging evidence to suggest that our Climate is warming hence the term global warming.
The possible effects of Climate Change are vast, but this page is only considering the effects in relation to increased flood risk.
As a result of global warming sea levels are rising which will not only increase the risk of coastal flooding but also the cost of defending against it.
Evidence also shows that rainfall patterns are changing as a result of Climate Change. In the UK summer rainfall is decreasing whilst winter rainfall is increasing.
Planning Policy Statement 25: Development and Flood Risk states that peak rainfall intensity is likely to increase by 30% by 2085.