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The impact on Warwickshire

The report on climate change published in August 2021 from the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), labelled “code red for humanity”, sets out the many ways in which human influence has warmed the climate. The dangers of climate change are no longer only something distant, impacting people elsewhere in the world. 

The UK is already seeing an increase in the intensity and frequency of warm spells. This was evident in Warwickshire in July 2022 when the temperature reached 38.4 degrees, resulting in risks to health as well as destructive wildfires across our County. The Met Office predicts that the future will bring increases in similar intense weather extremes. 

Another consequence of climate change is flooding, often reported to be the most common form of natural disaster. The IPCC projects that by 2100, the UK can expect a 10% rise in annual average rainfall. This includes an increase in the number of heavy rainfall events falling in a short period of time, which will cause more frequent and widespread flooding that in turn means new areas will be at risk. 

For Warwickshire, a county that is towards the top of many river catchments, much of the flooding we experience is surface water driven. This is not necessarily water flooding out of our rivers, but more the flow of water overland, as it makes its way to these networks, creating issues along the way. Heavy rainfall can overwhelm drainage systems and can be a particular problem in heavily concreted urban areas where the water cannot sink directly into the soil. As a result, flooding can cause severe damage to buildings and transportation as well as to our more rural agricultural land. 

Risk indicators are available to view online. You may want to start by selecting scenario RCP 6.0, which is the basis for our assessments.