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Climate change and
The Broads
Overview and introduction
An introduction to the issues
Weather and climate
Global warming and greenhouse gases
Mitigation and adaptation
The Broads – and is the area vulnerable?
Recent weather
• Have a think back about the weather over
the last few years
– Do you think it has been typical?
– Are there more extremes?
– Have you had to change what you do, or do
something different because of it?
Some of the following images might jog
your mind ...
ike Page
Weather and climate
• What’s the difference?
Weather and climate
• Weather is what we experience daily.
It varies over the seasons, and from year to year;
it varies through the day
• Climate is the average of what is happening.
It is considered over different time periods but at
least over 30 years. Trends are easier to spot and
different parts of the country and world have
different climates
Global warming
• The science of warming the atmosphere through
increasing the level of carbon dioxide (CO2) in it
has been known for over 100 years
• It has been only in the last half century that
people have been measuring global change, and
only in recent decades that we have had the
computing power to model global weather
patterns effectively
• CO2 rose to over 400 parts per million (ppm) in
the atmosphere in May 2013 – 100ppm more than
at the start of the C20th and the first time it’s
been at this level for at least 800,000 years.
From Climate Research Unit, UEA, website
UK Legislative Framework
Climate Change Act
Climate Change
January 2012
The National Adaptation Programme is reviewed and repeated every 5 years
So what is happening?
• Very simply put, the extra heat in the atmosphere warms
the land and sea in places and the imbalance is moved
around the globe by air (jet streams) and sea currents
• This changes the pattern of the weather - altering
temperature and precipitation. Particularly large differences
fuel storms and make them more extreme
• As the sea absorbs heat, the water expands and sea level
rises. Sea ice melts more rapidly and this in turn exposes
land ice that can melt and also raise sea levels.
This is a very simple summary – take a look at the Met Office website and
associated links for a more detailed explanation.
The climate is complex and it is not known for certain what might happen if
certain currents change, or more clouds reflect more sun etc. These ‘feedback
loops’ are being rapidly studied to improve climate projections.
Carbon budgets
• The Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change
(IPCC) are 95% certain that the majority of
global warming is due to human activity
• The UK Government is committed to halve CO2
emissions by 2020 (from 1990 levels) and
reduce them by 80% by 2050
• In the first carbon budget period (2008-12) the
target was met, though the latest emission
figures in 2012 were more than 2011.
Mitigation and adaptation
• Because Greenhouse Gases can remain in the
atmosphere for decades or longer, even if we
improve our mitigation and reduce emissions
rapidly, there will inevitably be some climate
change we have to live with – adapt to – in the
coming century
• If emissions carry on as now, it is projected that
global temperatures will be 3.2°C - 5.4°C higher
by the end of the century and sea levels on the
UK East coast will be 37cm higher
Key Findings
UK Climate Change
Risk Assessment 2012
• Warming will continue over the next
• The UK is already vulnerable to extreme
• Flood risk increases significantly
• Water resources under increased pressure
• Potential health benefits as well as threats
• Sensitive ecosystems under increasing pressure
• Global impacts affecting UK
• Some opportunities for agriculture and business
• Significant gaps in evidence but sufficient information to
inform adaptation
Climate projections for the Broads
Warmer, drier summers
Summer rainfall
Winter rainfall
Sea level
• More frequent, more intense extreme events
Depending on what we do now to lessen CO2 emissions we
may have to cope with summer days reaching ~38oC; the
tide being ~30cm higher; more intense periods of rain;
more extreme storms
A member of
The National Park
The Broads
• Value equivalent to a national park for its
landscape, biodiversity and heritage and the
opportunity for recreation
• Contributes over £430 million to the local economy
with over 7 million visitors
• 11,000 boat tolls paid annually to use the 200km+
of waterways
• 25% designated as of international wildlife value
• 70 historic wind mills & pumps
• Making it ... Britain’s Magical Waterland
Typical Broads showing wetlands,
broads and rivers and the
proximity to the coast
© Mike Page
© Mike Page
© Mike Page
The Broads are important for people, economy
and culture as well as the environment
Adapting the Broads
• With those climate projections, and thinking
about the special qualities of
the Broads:
What might be vulnerable to change?
Are there opportunities to grab?
How can we adapt to get the best for
the Broads?
Adapting the Broads
Some priority changes so far identified include:
• More flooding – from rain,
groundwater and the sea
• Different river flows (higher
and lower) increasing
vulnerability to pollution
and affecting boating
• Drought conditions
affecting water abstraction
• Dealing with heat-waves
• Longer, warmer summers
helping tourism, recreation,
maybe well-being
• Different vegetation growth
• Changing wildlife – species
present, breeding times,
impacts on food chains
• More livestock diseases
Looking in more detail…
With this introduction, you are now ready to try
one or more of the exercises.
These are designed to
 Help you think about how the Broads might need to
 The adaptation needed by individuals, communities
and society
 Have some fun!
For further information about the
Broads °Community and the latest thinking
about climate adaptation in the Broads take
a look at the website