London is continually affected by different environmental changes. The global temperature rise will probably bring more hot, sticky days to London. That means more sauna trips on the Tube and more rail delays as outdoor tracks heat up.
Warmer air stores more water. With London’s Victorian sewage system, we expect more sudden flooding as increasingly intense downpours fail to drain fast enough.
Conversely, our capital could see more water shortages. And more cold days with major disruptions due to a centimetre of snow.
Meanwhile, oceans absorb heat from the air and then the water expands, so the sea level rises. Storm surge flooding from the North Sea is expected to increase in height, leading to more closures of the flood barrier across the Thames, downstream from Greenwich.
What should Londoners do? We can all act to address climate change and its expected impacts.
We can reduce fossil fuel use, purchase products which do not harm forests, conserve water, and be ready for floods, droughts, heat, and cold. These are actions we should be doing anyway.
Climate change is part of London’s day-to-day life, on now through future decades. We have the knowledge to act to live with what climate change brings our city.
Some more information what you can do as an individual:
- London Climate Change Partnership - http://climatelondon.org.uk/news-events/events
- The Guardian’s fossil fuel divestment campaign - http://www.theguardian.com/environment/fossil-fuel-divestment
- Time to Act - http://www.timetoact2015.org
- Thames Barrier visit - https://www.gov.uk/the-thames-barrier
- UCL events on climate change are listed - http://events.ucl.ac.uk/calendar
More information on climate change:
- Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - http://www.ipcc.ch
- Mayor of London’s Climate Change Adaptation Strategy - https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/Adaptation-oct11.pdf
- Sceptical about climate change? - http://www.skepticalscience.com
- UK Committee on Climate Change - https://www.theccc.org.uk/tackling-climate-change/the-legal-landscape/global-action-on-climate-change
- United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change - http://newsroom.unfccc.int