Are the recent floods linked to Climate Change?


According to the author of a report first published in 2006 the extreme weather sweeping across Britain is clear evidence of climate change. The author of the report Lord Stern is unequivocal in his view that the current extreme weather patterns are part of an international trend in extreme weather events.

The peer states that it is imperative for Britain and the rest of the world to pursue a reduction in carbon emissions to avoid a continuous pattern of extreme weather that has brought misery to thousands this winter. According to Lord Stern the scientific evidence backs up the belief that the storms being experienced across the UK are caused by climate change. The last five years have been the wettest on record and when taken in conjunction with rising sea levels the risk of flooding will increase.

The peer has suggested that if carbon emissions cannot be brought under control there could be even more devastating consequences. There are weather related crises erupting across the world with Brazil experiencing record rainfalls and flooding. On the other side of the equation Australia and Argentina are experiencing heat waves and droughts during some of the hottest summers on record.

The peer urges the government to keep implementing the climate change act and that the problems are simply too great to ignore the issue.

Meanwhile a recent poll has found that over half of people believe that climate change is to blame for the recent devastating storms and flooding across Britain. Only around a quarter of people surveyed thought the floods and climate change were not linked in any way. A third of people also said that Politian’s responses to climate change would affect how they voted in future with only twenty per cent of people believing that the government is taking strong enough action to deal with the current crisis.

Some individuals in parliament have come in for specific criticism. Among those receiving flak are David Cameron with fifty one per cent of people believing his response to the flooding crisis has been unsatisfactory. Some ministers within the cabinet have had their personal views on climate change called into question. The environment secretary Owen Paterson has been a vocal sceptic within the climate change debate along with Michael Fallon who is against “climate change worship”. Campaigners have responded by stating the only way to deal with the consequences of climate change is to cut the global output of carbon emissions by half.

The weather in the UK has become a centre point of international debate on climate change and has jump started a debate about what should be done to tackle the issues that extreme weather events can cause.