Chris Beales | climate change & music
Category: Consequences

Consequences Page page  8 June 2020

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photo IPCC Special Report 15 – Global warming of 1.5degC  16 October 2018

Prompted by calls from the Paris climate summit, the IPCC commissioned this report to look at the challenge of limiting climate change to 1.5 degC compared with 2 degC. The consequences for the world of just that half-a-degree difference are stark. And it is a real call to arms for the global race to zero carbon emissions.

Special Report on Emission Scenarios (SRES)  1 January 2014

The greatest source of uncertainty for anyone trying to predict how the climate will change is us. How will we behave in the future? Will we take the issue seriously and rapidly cut our emissions of greenhouse gases? Or will it be business as usual? There are a number of Emission Scenarios, which have been modelled to try and understand this. This section has been updated to include the new AR5 scenarios.

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Consequences  

The aim of this section is to try and give you a picture of how the world will change through the effects of global warming. There are global consequences from the changing weather patterns, and other associated impacts. What will these mean to you and me? I focus right in on changes we can expect to see in my home town of Reading to help illustrate what climate change will be like. From this you can hopefully get a feel for how much things will change in other parts of the world. Notice that it will make a big difference to the future if we cut down on our emissions now!

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photo UK Climate Projections 2009 for Reading  1 January 2011

When the UK Climate Projections 2009 (UKCP09) were released, I was really keen to understand them and work out what changes they predicted for my home town of Reading. Following this through in detail, I dig into the spatial and seasonal differences we can expect. As well what is underneath these big shifts in long term average temperature, rainfall, etc. The projections were updated in 2018 with the results of more powerful models and improved science. However the broad findings are similar, as is the way to access the data.

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Temperature changes in March  1 January 2010

This is an in-depth look at how the UK climate projections (2009) can be used to understand how climate change will effect temperatures, for me, in the month of March. I introduce you to some real temperature data from the University of Reading Atmospheric Observatory, to help visualise what day-to-day temperatures might be like. And it seems likely that, even by the 2050s, and even under lower emission scenarios, we will see March temperatures that are more like the averages that we are used to seeing for April.

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What are the consequences of these changes?  

To help us understand how climate change will vary across the world, the Met Office have created a map showing the relative change in temperature across the globe. It is notable that other parts of the world are expected to see much bigger changes than Reading. This map also identifies some of the key consequences that individual regions may be expected to have to deal with. These are listed further with links to the IPCC impacts report.

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Temperature changes in August  

Even by 2050 we could experience heat waves, with hottest day temperatures that reach 40ºC in the shade. By the 2080s there is a big difference in the temperatures that we are likely to see by following the high, rather than the low scenario. It looks like it could get uncomfortably hot compared to what we’ve been used to.

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Knock on effects for Reading  

It is fair to point out that Reading isn’t the centre of the Universe(!) and that we don’t live in isolation. Climate change effects in other parts of the world will be different, and may be more or less extreme. Hopefully, it is clear to see that knock on effects of following anything like the high emissions scenario will be completely unacceptable. We must fight hard to reduce our emissions so that we are not left with trying to adapt to some dangerous consequences of climate change.

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