A changing climate

What does global warming mean for the UK?

Future scenarios are based on low carbon emissions and high carbon emissions for the years 2020, 2050 and 2080.

First, download the maps, then look at the questions below:

  • What will be the change in temperature in the summer of 2080 where you live?
  • What will be the change in the amount of rainfall in the winter of 2080 where you live?
  • Which places do you think will be affected most by climate change?
  • Which is likely to be affected the least?
  • How do you think they will they be affected?

Changing sea levels

map of uk showing areas at risk from rising sea levels

An example of global warming is changing sea levels. As the global climate warms, the world’s oceans will expand, causing a rise in the average level of the sea. Many land glaciers will melt, adding to this rise in sea level. Sea level will continue to rise around most of the UK’s shoreline, although the change in the level of the sea relative to the land will not be the same everywhere because much of southern Britain is sinking and much of northern Britain is rising! It is extreme sea levels – as experienced during storm surges – that cause most coastal damage. The largest rise in extreme sea levels may occur around the southeast coast of England, a region which has the largest changes in winds and storms.


Next: What is our carbon footprint?