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Implications of Climate Change in the South West. Presentation Outline. The Science of Climate Change: a brief overview Future climate change: what can the South West expect? Impacts of climate change: how are key sectors affected? Drivers for adaptation: why preparing for change is essential

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presentation outline
Presentation Outline
  • The Science of Climate Change:a brief overview
  • Future climate change:what can the South Westexpect?
  • Impacts of climate change:how are key sectors affected?
  • Drivers for adaptation:why preparing for change is essential
  • Taking action:adaptation case studies and tools
weather vs climate

= the average weather in a locality over a 30 year period


= what it is doing outside right now

Weather vs. Climate
natural factors cannot explain recent warming





Temperature change ºC

1850 1900 1950 2000

Natural factors cannot explain recent warming


Model simulation

Source: Hadley Centre for Climate Predication and Research

recent warming can be simulated when manmade factors are included

Temperature change ºC

1850 1900 1950 2000

Recent warming can be simulated when manmade factors are included:






Model simulation

Source: Hadley Centre for Climate Predication and Research


2003 summer temperatures could become regular by the 2040s

Observed temperatures

Simulated temperatures


We are already committed to this from past emissions alone


2003 temperatures normal by 2040s

Source Met Office Hadley Centre

35,000 people died across Northern Europe as a result of the 2003 August heatwave – effective planning is essential

some change is inevitable
Some change is inevitable

IPCC Emission Scenarios




World Stabilisation Scenario

Peak in emissions at

2016 followed by an

annual decrease of 4%

We are locked into some change because of past emissions

Start to diverge from 2030-40


Temp rise is difference from 1750

observed changes in the south west
Observed changes in the South West
  • Between 1961 and 2006…
      • Ave. summer temp. increased by1.41 °C
      • Summer precipitation decreased by8.8%
      • Winter precipitation increased by15.9%
  • Sea Level in Newlyn has risen 20 cm since 1920
  • 9 out of the past 10 years have now brought serious flooding to the UK
  • Globally, the 10 hottest years on record have all occurred since 1997

reducing our emissions of greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide (CO2)


preparing for the unavoidable impacts of climate change

regional adaptation response
Regional Adaptation Response
  • Climate SouthWest focuses on climate change impacts and adaptation. Its mission is:
  • To help the South West Region of England to adapt sustainably to the impacts of climate change
  • Regional partnership funded by a range of public and private organisations

“Warming to the Idea”

Climate SouthWest scoping study. Updated 2010

  • Describes climate change scenarios for the South West
  • Identifies likely impacts
  • Suggests actions needed to respond

Future Climate Change:

What can the South West expect?

increased summer temperatures
Increased summer temperatures

Increased Tourism

Increased Heat stress

Infrastructure risks

Risks to biodiversity

Heat related deaths

Risk to Food Security




+ 1.6C

+ 3.9C

+ 2.7C

Map showing average summer temperature change, medium emissions scenario, 2080s

But the temperature on the hottest day of the year could increase by up to 10ºC

South-West England central estimate

Medium emissions

The change for the 2080s is very unlikely to be less than 2.1ºC or more than 6.4ºC


decreased summer precipitation
Decreased summer precipitation

Reduced stream flow and water quality

Increased drought

Potential benefits for tourism


Serious water stress

Decreased crop yields




- 8%

- 24%

- 20%

South West England

central estimate

Medium emissions

Map showing average summer precipitation change, medium emissions scenario, 2080s

For the 2080s the change is very unlikely to be lower than -49% or higher than +6%


increased winter precipitation
Increased winter precipitation

Increased winter flooding

Increased subsidence

Risks to urban drainage

Severe Transport disruption

Risks of national Infrastructure




+ 7%


+ 17%

Map showing average winter precipitation change, medium emissions scenario, 2080s

South West

central estimate

Medium Emissions

For the 2080s the change is very unlikely to be lower than +6% or higher than +54%


relative sea level rise
Relative sea level rise

Weston-super-Mare: 12 cm

Newlyn: 13 cm

Poole: 12 cm



Weston-super-Mare: 26 cm

Newlyn: 29 cm

Poole: 26 cm

central estimate

Medium emissions

The H++ scenario for mean sea-level rise around the UK is 93 cm - 190 cm approx by 2100 

Note. Global average sea level rise: 1961-2003 = 1.8mm/year; 1993-2003 = 3.1mm/year (IPCC, 2007)



More frequent and intense severe weather events

Contribution to England & Wales winter precipitation from extreme 3-day events

Met Office Hadley Centre


© Bournemouth Tourism

2003 Heatwave led to 2000 deaths

2007 summer floods cost + £3 billion

“Parched April leads to alerts over silage and grain sales” Western Morning News, 4th May 2011

Insured losses from weather-related events cost £1.5bn / yr


Dorset Echo, 11th August 2003

‘Disappointed Ducks’

Impacts of climate change:

How are key sectors affected?


Climate SouthWest Key Sectors

Business & Utilities

Agriculture & Forestry

Housing & Construction



Local Government



impacts for agriculture and forestry

Increased risk of disease

Heat stress to poultry and livestock

Increased risk of drought

Loss of productive land due to sea level rise

Increased soil erosion and run-off


New crop varieties

Reduced frost damage

Longer growing seasons

Improved land management and woodland creation

Impacts for Agriculture and Forestry
impacts for biodiversity

Risk to drought vulnerable species

Increased visitor pressure on natural environment

Invasive non-native flora and fauna

Change in SW natural environment


Flora and fauna move to northern distributions

Integrated land management and habitat creation

Impacts for Biodiversity


impacts for business utilities

Business continuity

Recovery costs from events

Increased insurance costs

Health and safety risks

Disruption to supply chain / movement of goods and services


New market opportunities – goods and services

Recreational and leisure opportunities

Opportunities to enhance reputation

Reduced energy demand in winter

Impacts for Business & Utilities

Slad Road, Stroud (Bernard Wakefield-Heath)

impacts for housing and construction

Development in floodplains

More need for summer cooling

Increased rain penetration


Rising demand for water but decreased supply


Less demand for winter heating

More potential for solar energy

Increased amount of trees

Improved drainage infrastructure

Changing design standards

Impacts for Housing and Construction

© White Design

impacts for local authorities and local strategic partnerships

Protecting residents and business in flood risk areas

Impacts on natural environment

Impacts & pressures on infrastructure

Service delivery continuity


Leadership by example

Partnership working

Improved health – outdoor lifestyles

Business opportunities - tourism

Impacts for local authorities and Local Strategic Partnerships
impacts for tourism

Visitor destinations at capacity

Increased insurance costs

Damage to buildings

Staff and visitor health and safety

Coastal locations threatened by sea level rise and increased erosion


Potentially longer season

Job creation


Tourism in ‘off peak’ periods

New market opportunities

Impacts for Tourism

© Bournemouth Tourism

impacts for transport

Increased pressure on transport system from increased visitors

Increased disruption

Increased damage to infrastructure


Increased scope for walking and cycling

Less frost damage to infrastructure and less need for gritting

Fewer ice/snow related accidents and infrastructure damage

Impacts for Transport
impacts for health

Over exposure to UV – cataracts & skin cancer

Increased heat related deaths

Impacts of air pollution

Food poisoning

Infectious / tropical diseases


Increased physical recreation – reduction in obesity

Milder winters – reduction in excess winter deaths

Fewer cold related admissions

Impacts for Health
Drivers for adaptation

Why preparing for change is essential

gloucestershire floods 2007 23.7.07

Gloucestershire floods 2007

The South West is vulnerable to the existing climate

  • 573 business properties directly affected (est. only 80% insured)
  • 350 000 without water for up to 17 days
  • 42 000 without power for 42 hours
  • 10 000 people trapped on M5 & railways
  • £14.3M - emergency repair & response costs for Gloucestershire businesses
  • Businesses out of action for months!
  • (Pitt Review, 2008)
2003 heatwave bournemouth poole
2003 Heatwave – Bournemouth & Poole
  • 12th August 2003, Bournemouth & Poole
  • High temperatures (31+°C) attract record numbers of visitors
  • Accommodation full
  • 20% more traffic than usual
  • Pollution more than double Gov. Health Limit
  • 700 parking tickets issued over weekend
  • Emergency vehicles access blocked

© Bournemouth Tourism

The temperatures during the 2003 heatwave are likely to become normal in summer by the 2040s

climate change act 2008
Climate Change Act 2008
  • UK Climate Change Risk Assessment every five years
  • National adaptation programme must be put in place and reviewed every five years
  • Adaptation Reporting Power
  • Adaptation Sub-Committee
business drivers insurance
Business drivers: Insurance

In the SW, a 2°C rise could increase annual insured flood losses by 19%

- leading to a potential pricing increase of up to 16%.

A 4°C rise could increase losses by 29%

- leading to a potential pricing increase of up to 27%.

‘The Financial Risks of Climate Change’ (ABI, 2009)

Key messages for businesses:

  • Climate adaptation is likely to become part of insurance criteria
  • Well prepared businesses could save money on premiums
  • Unprepared businesses may not secure insurance cover
business drivers reputation
Business drivers: Reputation
  • Growing awareness
    • 69% cite flooding as one of the most common effects of climate change
    • Businesses need to show they care and are ahead of the game
  • Responsible business
    • - Reputation as employer
    • Reputation to customers
    • People care
Taking action:

Adaptation case studies and tools


Adaptation = Risk management

© Environment Agency

flood case study old mill hotel bath
Flood case study: Old Mill Hotel, Bath
  • Temporary flood boards
  • ‘Tanked’ the underneath of the restaurant – i.e. sealed it
  • Management training
  • The laundry store was moved from the basement
  • Close contact is kept with the Environment Agency to monitor the risk
  • Catering facilities and staff are prepared - able to move a second kitchen and function room upstairs
drought case study high post golf club
Drought case study: High Post Golf Club

“Plan for future climate change and don’t be frightened to bang the drum and get some publicity for being pro-active – it’s usually free marketing!”

Peter Hickling, High Post manager

  • Drought-resistant grasses
  • Water allocation process uses less water
  • Likelihood of disease reduced – less fungicide needed
  • Increased reputation – recognised as ‘on course for sustainability’
  • Member support gained through open forum
construction case study the scarlet hotel mawgan porth
Construction case study: The Scarlet Hotel, Mawgan Porth

Natural swimming pool – uses rainwater and no chlorination

Natural ventilation (7%) and heat recovery ventilation (85%)

Grey and rainwater harvesting systems

Green roofs and landscaping with a soakaway

community case study slapton line partnership
Community case study: Slapton Line Partnership
  • Coastal erosion
  • Road can only be maintained for max 30 -50 years
  • Signagefor alternative routes
  • Contingency plan for road closures
  • Business Forum to discuss challenges and opportunities
  • Emphasising attraction of nature reserve
tools to support adaptation
Caravan and campsite flood risk management pack

Business Areas Climate Impacts Assessment Tool

‘Changing Climate Changing

Business’ DVD

Online toolkit for tourism businesses

Case Studies

Tools to support adaptation
preparing for flooding
Preparing for flooding

  • Climate change is a “now” issue
  • We need to plan for current and future vulnerability
  • Planning proactively will be more cost effective than reacting
  • Opportunities for those who are resilient and able to adapt
  • Climate change impacts should be integrated into planning, policy
  • and decision-making
the costs of in action
The Costs of (In) Action:

“Adaptation actions should be integrated into development policy and planning at every level. … ignoring climate change is not a viable option – inaction will be far more costly than adaptation”

Stern Review, 2006


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