Number of droughts likely to increase under climate change - Met Office news

Thursday 27, May 2010


Number of droughts likely to increase under climate change - Met Office news


A Met Office study on how climate change could affect the frequency of extreme droughts in the UK has found a range of possibilities — the majority of them showing such droughts will become more common.




The study looked at how frequently extreme droughts could happen in the UK by 2100. To put the droughts in context, conditions seen in 1976 were used as a benchmark — a year which saw one of the worst droughts on record.


The Met Office climate model was used to run a number of simulations and these were then studied to determine how frequently 1976-style droughts could occur.


There were 11 slightly different versions of the model, producing a range of results. At the lower end, extreme droughts would continue to be as rare as they are today — happening every 50 to 100 years.


In the majority of other outcomes from the model, however, 1976-style droughts were more frequent. At the higher end, extreme droughts could happen once every decade — making them about 10 times more frequent than today.


This is an important step in assessing the likelihood of drought in the future, which could be vital for informing climate adaptation policy. At this stage, there is no probability attached to each of the scenarios, so they are all assumed to be equally likely. It is hoped future research will be able to assess how likely each outcome is to give better guidance to decision-makers on how they need to plan and adapt for future impacts of climate change.


Eleanor Burke, Climate Extremes Scientist with the Met Office, said understanding how droughts will affect the UK in the future is vital for plans to adapt to climate change.


She said: “Severe droughts such as the one seen in 1976 have a big impact — causing water shortages; health risks; fire hazards; crop failure, and subsidence. Understanding how the frequency of these events will change is therefore very important to planning for the future.”




Bookmark and Share


^ back to top


Find the best deals available today

The grey menu on the right is your best friend. Always check before you travel.

Plan your trips with the help of great resources

More and more travellers think that researching and planning a European city break is half the fun and they're not interested in pre-arranged trips or escorted tours. Self-guided tours offer a lot of advantages but require some guidance and good resources.


Clean, green and very pristine

Top 10 most environmentally pure countries

With the recent wild fires, disrupting flights and increasing air pollution, environmental quality is a growing factor in attracting tourists.



Top 15 most spectacular hotel rooftop views

The hotel price comparison site has put together a list of the fifteen most spectacular hotel rooftop terraces in the world.

Latest offers, discounts and more...

Accor “3=2 offer”
Why not extend your stay? 3 nights for the price of 2.
Columbus Direct travel insurance
Quality cover at low prices to customers all around the world.
Priority pass
Access VIP lounges no matter where which airline and class you fly.
European City Cards
See more and pay less! Get your "passport" to European cities.
Rail Europe
Comfortable and affordable on European trains.
Lonely Planet Magazine
Packed with insider knowledge, hints and tips.
Sandemans New Europe City Tours
Free walking tours in 13 cities within 9 countries.
Sol Melia Wednesdays
Search your exclusive special offers now for the coming weekend!
Low-cost shuttle and private transfers in over 70 countries.
IMEX Frankfurt 25-27 May
The essential worldwide exhibition for incentive travel, meetings and events.
Subscribe to Travelio News Summary via RSS Follow our news titles on Twitter Become a fan of on Facebook Bookmark and Share