Environment Agency: climate change means we need to adapt to extreme weather
Environment Agency chairman Lord Smith has told the BBC that the UK will have to adapt to floods and droughts and be prepared to face more extreme weather in the coming years because of climate change.
Floods have hit Britain on one in every five days in 2012 and one in four days were in drought. Some rivers, such as the Tyne, Ouse and Tone, have experiences record low levels and highest flows just four months apart.
Lord Smith said, “The extremes of weather that we saw last year highlight the urgent need to plan for a changing climate.
“More of this extreme weather will exacerbate many of the problems that we already deal with including flooding and water scarcity, so taking action today to prepare and adapt homes, businesses, agricultural practices and infrastructure is vital.”
The Met Office recently introduced Environment Agency floods warnings on its website and Rob Varley, director of operations and Services said, “Severe weather and the effects of flooding can have a huge impact on our lives.
“Working in partnership with our flood risk colleagues we are bringing flood warnings together with Met Office weather warnings.”
Extreme weather patterns – which should never be confused with climate – are likely to become more frequent due to climate change.
The Environment Agency stressed the importance of water reservoirs for farmers and business, which would help to store rainwater for when it is needed and to disperse it when the flood arrives.
Extreme rainfall is increasing in UK
Is our weather getting worse? In short, yes