Major British towns and cities, including Glasgow, Wrexham, Aberdeen and Chester, could be much more severely affected by climate change than previously thought, according to new research by Newcastle University.
Looking at the impact by the year 2050-2100, the team produced results for three possible outcomes – low, medium and high-impact scenarios. But even the most optimistic case showed 85% of UK cities with a river, including London, would face increased flooding.
In the high-impact scenario, some cities and towns in the UK and Ireland could see the amount of water per flood as much as double. The worst affected is Cork, which could see 115% more water per flooding, while Wrexham, Carlisle, Glasgow, and Chester could all see increases of more than 75%.
The team used projections from all available models associated with the high emission scenario RCP8.5, which implies a 2.6C to 4.8C increase in global temperature. They found the British Isles have some of the worst overall flood projections, with the high scenario predicting half of UK cities could see at least a 50% increase on peak river flows.