Broads under threat from climate change
ONE of the region's most important wildlife habitats is under threat from climate change and global warming, a conference will be told this week.A study has revealed that the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads are at greater risk from climate change than many other world lakes.
ONE of the region's most important wildlife habitats is under threat from climate change and global warming, a conference will be told this week.
A study has revealed that the Norfolk and Suffolk Broads are at greater risk from climate change than many other world lakes.
By the year 2080 the world's lakes will experience a temperature change of up to 5.7C caused by greenhouse gas emissions, according to a specially commissioned study.
The study's findings will be delivered at the eighth International Living Lakes conference at the University of East Anglia in Norwich taking place todaytomorrowand Friday.
The Broads are predicted to be 3.6C hotter during the summer months in eighty years time and that is likely to cause untold damage to the wildlife and wetland environment.
The Broads Authority is co-hosting the conference with conservation charity
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British Trust for Conservation Volunteers (BTCV) and the Global Nature Fund, commissioned the study by the renowned Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research based at the University of East Anglia.
The study, which investigates climate change and its expected impact on the 23 member lakes worldwide over the coming century, predicts that we face "accelerating and possibly unprecedented changes in the earth's climate over the coming years and decades" which will introduce new challenges for the way we live with and influence climate.
Other lakes across the world where great changes are predicted include Lake Constance in Germany with temperatures expected to increase by 4.6C while the greatest change of all is likely to be in Lake Tengiz in Kazakhstan where the winter temperature will increase by 5.7C.
Ten of the 23 lakes studied are predicted to have much more rainfall during the winter months.
The Broads are likely to see one of the largest increases in winter rainfall, up by 22%, but at the same time experience a 22% fall in the amount of rain during the summer.
A spokeswoman for the Broads Authority said: "These marked seasonal changes on the Broads are expected to lead to increased winter and spring flooding and low flow in summer which will affect precious habitats, wildlife and cause the water quality to deteriorate in summer.
The study claims that if carbon concentration could be kept to 600ppm (parts per million) global warming could be kept down to about 2C compared to the 3.2C warming assumed in the analysis.
In 2003 carbon dioxide concentration stands at just over 370ppm.
If the reduction could be achieved the climate changes being experienced in the Living Lakes would be reduced by 30 to 40%.
Professor Kerry Turner, chairman of the Broads Authority, said: "If these carbon reduction targets are to be met, it is vital that all energy users, from multi-national corporations to individual households, recognise the urgent need to be much more efficient in their use of energy.
"Governments will also need to accelerate investments in energy production from renewable sources such as wind and solar power, as part of a more sustainable energy strategy."
Delegates from 30 countries, are attending the conference and speakers include Rural Affairs Minister Alun Michael, Professor David Bellamy, vice-president of BTCV.