Projections for the UK
Projections for the UK
To assist long-term planning for future climate change, in 2002 the UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP), on behalf of Defra (Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs) published a series of climate change scenarios for the UK. These give local projections for climate change.
The 2002 projections have since been superseded by the 2009 projections (UKCP09) covering all 16 UK administrative regions. These projections include better assessments of uncertainty and better information on important parameters such as rainfall and temperature.
The 2009 projections are based on three emission scenarios high/medium and low and the spatial resolution is twice that of the 2002 projections (25km2 rather than 50km2 grid squares). The full projections are presented with five levels of probability.
The projections cover:
- Annual average daily temperature
- Summer precipitation
- Winter precipitation
Key findings of the UKCP09 science report
Average global temperature and sea level have risen since the late 19th century and at an increased rate over the past few decades
- Warming of the global climate system is unequivocal with global average temperature having risen by nearly 0.8 degrees C since the late 19th century and rising at about 0.2 degrees C over the past 25 years
- Global sea-level rise has accelerated between mid-19th century and mid 20th century and is now about 3mm per year. It is likely that human activities have contributed between a quarter and a half of the rise in the last half of the 20th century.
Average UK temperature has risen since the mid 20th century as have average sea level and sea surface temperature around the UK coast. Over the same time period trends in precipitation and storminess are harder to identify
- Central England temperature has risen by about a degree Celsius since the 1970s with 2006 being the warmest on record. It is likely that there has been a significant influence from human activity on the recent warming
- Annual mean precipitation over England and Wales has not changed significantly since records began in 1766
- All regions of the UK have experienced an increase over the past 45 years in the contribution to winter rainfall from heavy precipitation
- Severe windstorms around the UK have become more frequent in the past few decades though not above that seen in the 1920s
Average temperature across all regions of the UK has risen since the mid 20th century. Over the same time period trends in precipitation are harder to identify
- All regions of the UK have experienced an increase in average temperatures between 1961 and 2006annualy and for all seasons. Increases in annual average temperatures are typically between 1.0 and 1.7 degrees C
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