“New government-funded research has identified the top 100 effects of climate change and their expected impact on Britain and magnitude over this century.
The “Climate Change Risk Assessment” found that if no further action is taken to address climate change, annual flood damage to buildings could reach between 2.1 billion and 12 billion pounds, compared to current costs of 1.2 billion pounds.
“If I had to pick one particular issue, the flooding issue is the most dominant,” said Bob Watson, chief scientific adviser at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and one of report’s authors.
Britain is already at risk of extreme weather. In 2007, summer floods cost over 3 billion pounds and disruption from snowfall last year cost 600 million pounds a day over a several-day period.
More intense bursts of rainfall in summer and longer rainfall in winter will cause more floods, worsening damage and disruption to infrastructure and property. Over the longer term rising seas will bring coastal flooding, Watson added.
Annual insurance payouts and premiums will rise significantly, and more properties will find it harder to get insurance and obtain mortgages, the report said.
The government is spending 2.1 billion pounds on flood defenses over the next four years, but this represents a cut in funding of around 27 percent, the chairman of the environment agency said when the spending budget was announced in 2010.”