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- 25-10-2004 eco nws - global warming - impact - uk - flooding - report - energy saving trust - summit - rio - Published by the Energy Saving Trust, the body established by the government following the 1992 Rio Earth Summit, the document details the likely effect of climate change on Britain if nothing is done to cut emissions of greenhouse gases or reduce energy use. As much as �200bn-worth of property and infrastructure including 2m homes could be at risk from flooding and coastal erosion by the middle of the century, the projection suggests. The cost of buildings subsidence, exacerbated by weather extremes, could top �600m a year and storm damage could add another �800m to annual insurance claims. (the guardian)
- 28-06-2005 eco nws - global warming - impact - gb - flooding - Climate Change 'to Drown Britain' - Sea-level rise caused by climate change could turn Britain into a string of islands, a study published today suggests. Rises could drown the centre of London and leave many low-lying cities and coastal towns waterlogged, including Edinburgh, Newcastle upon Tyne, Scunthorpe, Bristol, Plymouth, Norwich, Peterborough and Bournemouth, according to the Benfield Hazard Research Centre at University College London. Global sea levels are expected to rise with the temperatures, from the melting of ice sheets at present on land, and the expansion of sea water as it warms. Reseachers matched rising sea-level scenarios against ultra-accurate data on the UK's topography from the US space shuttle. The study, which was carried out for the cable and satellite channel UKTV History to celebrate its forthcoming series The British Isles - A Natural History, was led by Benfield's director, Professor Bill McGuire. 'The west Antarctic ice sheet is the most worrying,' Professor McGuire said. 'If this melts, with the continued thermal expansion of seawater, London and many other coastal cities could disappear beneath the waves within 200 years.' (earth hope)
- 15-07-2011 eco nws - global warming - impact - flooding - climate swings - floods - Dramatic Climate Swings Likely as World Warms: Ancient El Ni�o Clue to Future Floods - ScienceDaily (July 15, 2011) � Dramatic climate swings behind both last year's Pakistan flooding and this year's Queensland floods in Australia are likely to continue as the world gets warmer, scientists predict. Researchers at the Universities of Oxford and Leeds have discovered that the El Ni�o Southern Oscillation (ENSO), the sloshing of the warmest waters on the planet from the West Pacific towards the East Pacific every 2-7 years, continued during Earth's last great warm period, the Pliocene. Their results suggest that swings between the two climatic extremes, known as El Ni�o and La Ni�a, may even have occurred more frequently in the warmer past and may increase in frequency in the future. Extreme ENSO events cause droughts, forest fires and floods across much of the world as well as affecting fishery production. Reporting in the journal Paleoceanography, the team of geochemists and climate modellers use the Pliocene as a past analogue and predictor of the workings of Earth's future climate. The Pliocene (which lasted from 5 to 3 million years ago) had carbon dioxide levels similar to the present day, with global mean temperatures about 2-3�C higher, so it is a useful test-ground for climate research. Lead Scientist Nick Scroxton from Oxford University's Department of Earth Sciences said: 'We know from previous studies that the mean state of the Pacific during the warm Pliocene was similar to the climate patterns observed during a typical El Ni�o event that we see today. 'However, until recently it was believed that a warmer Pacific would reduce the climate swings that cause the dramatic weather extremes throughout the region leading to a permanent state of El Ni�o. What we didn't expect was that climatic variability would remain strong under these warmer conditions.' The team combined experiments performed on the Met Office Hadley Centre climate model, HadCM3, with the analysis of the chemical composition of lots of individual shells of small organisms, known as foraminifera. These were collected from a deep sea sediment core in the East Equatorial Pacific, and provided a record of temperature in the upper layer of the ocean through time. They discovered that the range of temperatures experienced by these organisms during the Pliocene, was higher than what would be expected from just the seasonal cycle. The extra variation in temperature can be explained by the additional extreme temperature swings provided by the El Ni�o/La Ni�a system. The authors say the agreement in findings from both ocean data and modelling leaves little doubt that ENSO will persist in a warmer world. Earlier this year a team from Japan studying corals from the same period showed climatic variability in the western Pacific on a similar scale to today, questioning the idea of a permanent El Ni�o during the Pliocene. This new study goes further, showing that the oscillation is Pacific-wide, and is likely to be caused by the El Ni�o/La Ni�a. This suggests that our warmer future will continue to be dogged, maybe even more regularly, by extreme climatic events.