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  1. ITV Report

East Anglia faces hotter drier summers and milder but wetter winters

Climate projections suggest hotter and drier summers in East Anglia. Credit: Carla Sears

New climate projections by the Met Office suggest summers in East Anglia will be drier and hotter in the coming decades but there will be more rain in the winter.

New climate projections for the UK have been produced by the Met Office showing a future of hotter summers, wetter winters and rising sea levels.

The findings show all of the UK's top 10 warmest years on record have been since 1990, and temperatures in the recent decade are 0.8°C warmer than they were in 1961-1990.

In the East of England, temperatures could rise by 1°C but up to 5°C in the worse case scenario. Summer rainfall could drop by up to one third.

Dry grassland near Cambridge during the long hot summer of 2018. Credit: Michael Harvey

Using the latest science from the Met Office and around the world, the UK Climate Projections 2018 illustrate a range of future climate scenarios until 2100.

To help homes and businesses plan for the future, the results set out a range of possible outcomes over the next century based on different rates of greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere.

  • Summer rainfall in East Anglia

Summer rainfall in East Anglia is forecast to decrease by 15 to 35%

By the end of the century, it is likely that East Anglia will experience reduced rainfall in summer under both high and low scenarios.

Under a low emissions scenario, summer rainfall is likely to change by around -35% to +5%, with a mid-range value of-15%.

Under a high emissions scenario, summer rainfall is likely to change by around–65% to -5%, with a mid-range value of -35%.

Winter rainfall is projected to increase in East Anglia in the coming decades. Credit: Joanne Joyce
  • Winter rainfall in East Anglia

Winter rainfall in East Anglia is forecast to increase by 10 to 20%

By the end of the century, it is likely that most parts of England, including East Anglia, will experience increases in winter rainfall under both high and low scenarios. However, small reductions are also possible.

The largest changes in winter rainfall relative to present day are expected in coastal areas.

Under a low emissions scenario, winter rainfall is likely to change by around -5% to +25%, with amid-range value of +10%.

Under a high emissions scenario, winter rainfall is likely to change by around 0% to +40%, with a mid-range value of +20%.

Summer in East Anglia are forecast to get hotter by 1.5°C to 5°C by the end of the century. Credit: Dennise McCarthy
  • Summer temperatures in East Anglia

Summer temperatures are projected to increase by 1.5°C to 5°C

By the end of the century, it is very likely that most parts of England, including the East Anglia, will experience increases in average summer temperature under both high and low emission scenarios.

Under a low emissions scenario, summer temperatures are likely to increase by around 0.5°C to 3.5°C, with a mid-range value of 1.5°C.

Under a high emissions scenario, summer temperature is likely to increase by around 2.5°C to 7°C, with a mid-range value of 5°C.

  • Winter temperatures in East Anglia

Winter temperatures are projected to increase by 1°C to 4°C

By the end of the century, it is likely that England, including East Anglia, will experience increases in average winter temperature under both high and low emission scenarios.

Small temperature reductions are possible under the low emissions scenario, but are unlikely.

Under a low emissions scenario, winter temperatures are likely to change by around 0°C to +2.5°C, with a mid-range value of +1°C.

Under a high emissions scenario, winter temperature is likely to increase by around 1.5°C to 5.5°C, with a mid-range value of 4°C

Sunset on 26 November 2018 in Ramsey St Mary's, Cambridgeshire. Credit: Chris Mitchell

Speaking today from the Science Museum in London, Environment Secretary Michael Gove said: "This cutting-edge science opens our eyes to the extent of the challenge we face, and shows us a future we want to avoid.

“The UK is already a global leader in tackling climate change, cutting emissions by more than 40 % since 1990 – but we must go further.

“By having this detailed picture of our changing climate, we can ensure we have the right infrastructure to cope with weather extremes, homes and businesses can adapt, and we can make decisions for the future accordingly.”

– Michael Gove, Environment Secretary

Today’s projections are the first major update of climate projections in nearly 10 years and they predict that hot summers will become more common.

The probability of a summer as hot as this year has already increased from less than 10% in recent decades to 10-20% now, and the chances of a 2018-style heatwave summer is likely to rise to around 50% by mid-century.

Coastal flood risk is expected to increase over the 21st century and beyond whatever happens to emissions, largely due to rising sea levels rather than more stormy conditions.

Sunset in Upper Harlestone in Northamptonshire on 26 November 2018. Credit: Craig Middleton

Mr Gove said a new long-term approach would be needed on dealing with flooding, warning "it will not always be possible to prevent every flood, we cannot build defences to protect every single building or reinforce every retreating coastline".

To tackle droughts, he said new policies would help drive the construction of new water infrastructure such as reservoirs.

Farmers will receive payments to tackle climate change and boost productivity, from planting cover crops to protect soil to planting trees on agricultural land, while there will be measures to curb emissions from fertilisers.

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