Climate change already having impact on Suffolk, as UN report released

A path through the heather at Dunwich Heath Picture: Pamela Bidwell

Areas like Dunwich Heath could be impacted upon by climate change - Credit: Pamela Bidwell

Data has shown that climate change has already had an impact in Suffolk, as a new report on global warming was released.  

The report released by the UN on Monday warned that humans are unequivocally driving global warming – with impacts from heatwaves to rising seas and extreme rain already seen around the world. 

The assessment from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change paints a stark picture of the impact humans are having through activities such as burning fossil fuels – and the future the world faces if it fails to rapidly tackle the crisis. 

Data from the Met Office, interpreted by Dan Holley from Weatherquest, showed the impact of climate change has already been felt across East Anglia in the past 30 years.  

It showed that between 1990 and 2019 the mean temperature in Suffolk rose by 1C with rainfall up 3% and sunshine up 9%.  


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The number of days with an air frost decreased by 20% in the same period. 

The UN’s report said the world will reach or exceed temperature rises of 1.5C – a limit countries have pledged to try to keep to in order to avoid the most dangerous consequences of warming – over the next two decades.

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James Mallinder, East Suffolk Council's cabinet member for the environment, said there was no time for excuses.  

“Today’s report clearly highlights the extraordinary problems we are facing, and it is evident that there is no time for excuses or delays when it comes to climate change,” he said. 

“We are the first generation to fully understand our environmental problems and we will be the last who can act. 

 “I truly believe that every action we all take now, no matter how small, will have a big impact over time.” 

 Last month the Suffolk Public Sector Leaders group of health, police, council and business bosses agreed £1.5million from pooled business rates to be used on a cross-council climate emergency plan. 

It featured more than 100 measures to help combat climate change including the upgrading of walking and cycling infrastructure on key routes and incentives to help people adopt heat pumps in their homes.  

Earlier this year the National Trust warned that many of its properties, like Dunwich, could be damaged forever by climate change over the next 40 years. 

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