Institution of Mechanical Engineers Report on Climate Change Adaptation

03 March 2009

The ravaging effects of climate change on our planet over the next 1,000 years - as a result of failed emission policies - have been mapped out in a brand new report unveiled by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE).

The report: Climate Change: Adapting to the Inevitable , predicts what will happen in three regions; the UK, Botswana and Shanghai as CO2 emissions continue to soar amidst failing Kyoto type agreements and ongoing political debates. Indeed, it explores whether the impending Copenhagen conference in November will make any difference in the enormous challenge facing us. Climate modelling in the report shows the UK suffering from increased flooding, volatile storms, droughts and intense heat and areas including London and the Norfolk Broads could eventually, literally, be wiped off the map. In a month's time IMechE will launch its three-pronged plan to a select group of MPs in an urgent bid to start implementing long-term adaptation. IMechE warns that if CO2 emissions are not slashed, then within 30 years temperatures are predicted to rise by 2 degrees – by which time, the report says, it will be too little, too late.

The 2m sea level rise projected to occur in the latter half of the 23rd century would inundate significant areas of the UK including the Norfolk Broads and parts of London (Figure 5a–b), if no adaptation effort is made to prevent it. The sea level rises projected could significantly redraw the map of the UK and threaten the entire viability of London as well as key ports and power station sites such as Sizewell in Norfolk.

Key recommendations

  • Urge Government to be ‘realistic' in the fight against climate change and start

‘adapting' as well as mitigating.

  • Heavily invest in planning and resources for our future settlements, critical national

assets (power stations and ports) and transport routes.

  • Help others: The UK should be leading the industrialised world to help vulnerable

nations cope with impending climate change events.

Full report:

Institution of Mechanical Engineers

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