Impact of Global warming on the British Isles and a Tropical region

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Effects on the British Isles

  • UK could experience warmer summers, longer hot spells, droughts and iincreased storm activity.
  • However if warm Gulf Stream current is diverted away from the UK, the UK could become as cold as Northern Canada.

Coastal regions

  • Increase in sea levels and an increase in the frequency and magnitude of storms, storm surges and waves  would lead to more coastal flooding.
  • Sea levels are predicted to rise between 12 and 37cm by 2050, would make low lying lands vulnerable particularly the coast of East Anglia, Lancashire, the humber estuary and the Thames estuary.
  • Flooding would lead to disruption in transport, manufacturing and the housing sector.
  • In addition, there will be long term damage to agricultural land and threaten salt marshes.
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Effects on the British Isles

  • Summer rainfall in southern Britain could decline by 40%
  • Temperatures could rise by 3 degrees celcius

Agriculture

Higher temperatures can result in:

  • A decreased yield of cereal crops -> food prices rise -> lower class families not able to feed families etc.
  • An increased yield of sugar beet and potatoes.
  • An increase in the length of the growing season for grasses and trees -> high productivity.
  • Introduction of new crop species (UK could become a wine producing region)
  • Increase in some transboundary pests for example the Colorado Beetle -> damages potatoes and decrease yield
  • More frequent droughts.  
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Effects on the British Isles

Ecosystems

  • significant movement of species northwards and to high elevations such as cod or haddock.
  • Extinction of some native species that are not able to adapt to the increasing temperatures.
  • Loss of species hat occur in isolated, damp, cool or coastal habitats.
  • Invasion and spread of 'alien' weeds, pests and diseases
  • Increased number of invertebrates, birds and mammals which will compeate with native species for resources and may out-compete them.
  • Disappearence of snow from the tops of the highest mountains.
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Effect on monsoon climate - case study - Banglades

  • Bangladesh lies within the monsoon climatic zone.
  • Population estimated by UN at 150 million in 2008.
  • One of the most densly populated countries - 1102 people/Km2
  • Also one of the poorest nations (GNP per capita =USD 1,314) it is also the most ill-prepared to face the challenges presented by climate change especially due to the fact that 75% is on the flood plain.
  • Increase in average temperatures by 1.5 - 2 degrees centigrade by 2050.
  • An increase of 10-15% in annual precipitation by 2050
  • Increase in frequency and severity of cyclones during the wet season as a result of warmer sea temperatures in the Bay of Bengal.
  • 20% increase in river discharge, partly from ithe predicted increase in precipitation but also due to an increase in glacier melt water from the Himalayas where the rivers Brahmaputra, Mengnha and Ganges have their source.
  • significant rise in sea level. In 2001 the World Bank reported rising sea levels of 3 mm per year.
  • It is predicted that by 2050, sea levels will rise by 1m in Bangladesh which would result in 15% of the total land area being inundated by salt water.
  • An estimated 13-30 million people could be displaced from their homes by permenant flooding .
  • Total rice crop yeild is estimated to decrease by 30% - due to the loss of land
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Effect on monsoon climate - case study - Banglades

  • Loss of land might result in mass migration into Northeast India and is therefore likely to increase international tensions between the two countries, in addtion to political instability.
  • Coral reefs will become irreparably damaged by severe storms and this will have a knock on effect on rare marine species and reduce biodiversity.
  • The Sundarbans is a large cluster of islands totalling an area of 10,000 km2, stretching along the coastline from Bangladesh to India.
  • It is home to the world's largest mangrove forest
  • Was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997.
  • It is also Asia's largest natural 'carbon sink' and supports many species including the Royal Bengal tiger, the Indian python and the esturine crocodile.
  • Climate change may lead to loss of this unique area: complete flooding of low islands, retreat of shorelines, salination of the soil and a rise in the water table
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