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Climate Change Risk Assessment for Wales

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This report presents a national assessment of potential risks and opportunities from climate change facing Wales for the rest of this century.

This report has been produced as part of the UK Climate Change Risk Assessment (CCRA). The CCRA is required under Section 56 of the Climate Change Act 2008.

The report draws together and presents evidence from individual CCRA UK sector reports and recent research literature. The findings are presented for different possible future scenarios and include an indication of confidence in the results and areas where there are evidence gaps. The assessment is based on the UK Climate Projections which were published in 2009 (UKCP09).

This report does not attempt to provide a comprehensive discussion of all potential impacts for Wales. It also does not attempt to identify potential adaptation measures or associated policy for Wales. The main purpose is to provide an overview of the impacts that are considered to be the most important.

Summary of results

From the results, the potentially most significant risks for Wales from climate change appear to be:

  • Increases in hot-weather related death and illness;
  • Changes in soil conditions, biodiversity and landscape due to warmer, drier summers;
  • Reductions in river flows and water availability during the summer, affecting water supplies and the natural environment;
  • Increases in flooding on the coast and inland, affecting people, property and infrastructure;
  • Changes in coastal evolution including erosion and coastal squeeze, affecting beaches, intertidal areas and other coastal features;
  • Changes in species including a decline in native species, changes in migration patterns and increases in alien and invasive species; and
  • Increases in the risk of pests and diseases affecting agriculture and forestry. The risk to livestock is a particular concern.

The potentially most significant opportunities for Wales appear to be:

  • Increases in grass yields, allowing a potential increase in livestock production;
  • Increases in tourist numbers and a longer tourist season; and
  • Reductions in cold-weather related illness and death.

The UK Climate Change Risk Assessment is available in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs website (external link)