Consequences for Reading
I am still working on this page ... please bear with me as I build up the content and check references.
The changes to temperature, rainfall and other weather variables will cause changes to the environment around Reading. We might see increases in flooding; more extreme heat waves; loss of some species (e.g. birds and trees) and the rise of others...potentially including pests.
On the face of it, if we ignore the summer, the climate changes that I have presented for Reading look quite nice for the rest of the year. The warmer temperatures suggest that we will be more likely to experience milder, shorter winters; and that we can expect an earlier onset for spring. However, it will also be pleasant for a variety of plants, insects and animals that are not used to surviving in this part of the world, and they in tern may out-compete some of our native species. We are already seeing change in ecosystems. This is likely to continue, and unfortunately the changes in climate are so rapid that we will probably see an increase in pests, this could effect agriculture and possibly effect us directly if there are diseases involved.
The winters do look like they are going to get wetter. It seems logical that this will mean more flood events in the future and, depending on how the rainfall patterns change, these events could be more extreme.
The hotter summers could be a big problem.
- Heat waves, with temperatures over 40ºC in the shade, are hard enough for me if I am on a holiday in the Mediterranean. Reading - in the bottom of the Thames valley - will be very uncomfortable, and these hotter temperatures could be further enhanced by the urban heat island effect. It is worth noting that 10,000 people died across northern Europe as a result of the heat wave in 2003.
- The summers are also expected to be dry, which could have consequences as soils dry out a lot more than we have been used to. This could effect buildings through subsidence, and could effect agriculture. It may also result in droughts as it reduces the effectiveness of the following winter's rainfall.
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