Global warning threat spelt out

GLOBAL warming is the biggest environmental threat facing Suffolk, according to the county's wildlife trust in a call to the G8 countries to deliver on climate change as well as poverty.

GLOBAL warming is the biggest environmental threat facing Suffolk, according to the county's wildlife trust in a call to the G8 countries to deliver on climate change as well as poverty.

The call was echoed in East Anglia yesterday by the RSPB which also emphasised the need to plan now for the replacement of coastal habitats already being lost.

Both organisations said internationally and nationally important freshwater wetlands were being damaged by coastal erosion and saltwater contamination - caused by global warming.

Audrey Boyle, trust spokeswoman, said evidence that global warming was under way was now irrefutable and apart from loss of land and habitat, the tourist industry could be hit and changes would be forced upon agriculture.


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“Nine of the ten warmest years on UK record have occurred in the last decade. Scientists say the 1990s was the warmest decade in the last 1,000 years and by the end of this century Suffolk is likely to see an average increase in temperature of between 2.5 C and 4.5 C.

“Winters and autumns will become a lot milder and wetter. Drier, hotter summers will be punctuated by occasionally monsoon type downpours,” she said.

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Ms Boyle said more than 770 hectares of internationally important wetlands were at risk from coastal erosion and saltwater contamination in Suffolk and Norfolk alone and the trust's freshwater habitats at Trimley, Dunwich and Snape were under threat.

Rising sea levels were also causing “coastal squeeze” where inter-tidal habitats were unable to move inland because of sea walls protecting farmland.

Chris Durdin, RSPB spokesman in East Anglia, said climate change was the single most serious threat to wildlife and the environment at it now existed.

“It is important to remember that even if we tackle the greenhouse gases that contribute to global overheating it will continue for some time yet. If we don't take action it will get worse even faster, especially during the second half of the 21st Century,” he added.

A Suffolk County Council spokesperson said: “We would be interested to know more about what the Suffolk Wildlife Trust considers to be the specific threats to Suffolk, so that we can see what can be done locally to address this global issue.”

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