Page last updated at 12:53 GMT, Thursday, 18 June 2009 13:53 UK

Warning on future flooding risks

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Climate change predictions say winter storms and dry summers are likely

Wales could face an increased risk of flooding as sea levels rise, according to the latest climate change forecasts from the Met Office.

Hotter, drier summers and milder, wetter winters are predicted for the country in the UK Climate Projections 2009 (UKCP09) report.

Across Wales by 2050, the temperature could increase by 2.3 degrees Celsius.

Environment Minister Jane Davidson said the assembly government was committed to cutting carbon emissions.

Among the other key findings for Wales are:

• In summer, daily maximum temperatures are projected to increase by 3.4 degrees Celsius

• Rainfall is projected to increase in winter on average by 14% and decrease in summer by 16%

• Sea levels around Wales are predicted to rise by approximately 20cm by 2050

• In winter, daily minimum temperatures are projected to increase by 2.5 degrees Celsius

Commenting on the predictions, Ms Davidson said action was needed to limit the potential damage of climate change in the future.

"However, even if we act now to drastically cut our greenhouse gasses, past emissions mean that we will have to adapt the way we live and work to cope with a future that involves hotter, drier summers, warmer wetter winters. It will also mean more heat waves and flooding," she said.

"This is why the Welsh Assembly Government is committed to cutting carbon emissions in devolved areas by 3% from 2011 onwards.

"This latest science supports our commitment. But just cutting our emissions is not enough - we also need to adapt.

"This means reducing our vulnerability to climate change by making people aware of the impacts of climate change and equipping them to make decisions that will increase our resilience and minimise our risks."

The minister said she would unveil the next stage of the assembly government's climate change strategy next week.



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