Britain Prepares to Change for Climate Change

The British government has outlined how the UK will deal with the threat of climate change in the future and has listed a number of proposals on what the country will do in order to adapt to extreme changes in weather patterns.

The UK Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs asked 91 organizations that are in charge of maintaining key aspects of the national infrastructure to submit their concerns and plans regarding the affects of climate change.

Building roads that are of a similar standard to the hot conditions in the south of France and moving fish from the Lakeland district to colder waters in Scotland are just a few of the ideas proposed to combat possible scenarios in the future.

At the moment, it is projected that temperatures could rise by between 2.2 to 6.8°C by the year 2080 in the UK. This would cause significant problems for Britain’s transport, food and agriculture, water and energy industries.
Under the Climate Change Act, numerous organizations within the UK that are responsible for the well being of crucial industries and in maintaining Britain’s infrastructure were asked to unveil their plans to cope with the possibility of increasingly warm weather, higher levels of precipitation and more unpredictable climate changes.

The Highways Agency, which is in charge of maintaining Britain’s roads admitted that they would look into the possibility of building roads to the standards of those in France.

The National Rail suggested that they would have to adopt measures to keep passengers cool during heat waves, to limit embankments caving in during floods and to maintain the railways in cold and hot weather. National Rail also voiced their concerns over rising sea levels and the impact this would have on rail tracks in coastal regions.

The National grid suggested that gas pipes could be subjected to higher levels of erosion, but that they aim to replace metal pipes with new polyethylene models over the next ten years. The organization also believes that 13 electrical substations could be susceptible to flooding if extreme weather patterns continue in the future.

The Trinity House Lighthouse Authority believes that the majority of lighthouses in Britain will not face severe impacts and that only a minority will be under threat due to erosion and rising sea levels.
The proposals will be used to form a national strategy on how to adapt to the projected weather conditions. A number of water plants, power stations and harbor authorities will submit their ideas and concerns later this year. These will also be used in the national strategy report.

Photo Credit: Keith Edkins