Friday, October 16, 1998 Published at 16:34 GMT 17:34 UK
UK to get hotter, stormier
Heavy industry is largely responsible for greenhouse gases
Global warming will cause temperatures in the UK to rise by up to 3.5°C in the 21st century, research published by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions predicts.
The increase will mean the north getting wetter, the south getting drier and storms becoming more ferocious.
The effect is predicted to increase rainfall in the north and west of the British Isles which will potentially contribute to flooding across the region.
Conversely, the south and east will become drier, perpetuating the "drought" conditions that have led to hosepipe bans and water shortages in recent years.
Global warming is widely accepted as a scientific fact by many climatologists, and levels of greenhouse gases, particularly carbon dioxide (CO2), are thought to be to blame.
Another study, published in Science magazine, rejects the idea that the polar ice caps are melting and causing the level of the Earth's oceans to rise as a result .
They have found that, contrary to popular thinking, the ice sheet is not shrinking, forcing them to examine new theories for climate change and rising waters.
Professor Wingham said: "The findings support the notion of global warming, because if the ice sheet isn't responsible for this water then thermal expansion presumably has to be.
Using existing estimates, there will be a 40cm rise in ocean levels over the next 100 years.
This could be catastrophic for lowland areas such as Bangladesh, which experienced some of its worst flooding on record during September.
Despite recent attempts like the 1997 Kyoto, Japan, Framework Convention on Climate Change to restrict the production of greenhouse gases, scentists predict that even if CO2 levels were halted at today's levels, the effects are likely to take centuries to reverse.