Climate change in Plymouth

As a result of climate change Plymouth can expect:

  • Rising sea levels & heavier rain storms
  • Hotter dryer summers
  • Milder wetter winters

The UK's Climate Impacts Programme published projections of the likely UK climate for the rest of this century.  These new forecasts, known as the UKCP09 Projections, are based on complex modelling of the global atmosphere and oceans.

Based on the data from UKCP09, the table below provides an overview of the projections for the South West of England for the 2020s, 2050s and 2080s.

South West climate change projections for 2020, 2050 and 2080

Potential change In the 2020s In the 2050s In the 2080s
Hotter summers - Increase in summer mean temperature +1.6 degrees +2.7 degrees +3.1 degrees
Warmer winters - Increase in mean temperature +1.3 degrees +2.1 degrees +2.3 degrees
Wetter winters - Change in winter mean precipitation 7% degrees 17% degrees 18% degrees
Drier summers - Change in summer mean precipitation -8% degrees -20% degrees -20% degrees

In planning for Plymouth’s future the following projections are being used for sea level rise and storm events:

 

Sea and storm event 1990 to 2025 2025 to 2055 2055 to 2085 2085 to 2115
Sea level rise 3.5mm 8mm 11.5mm 15mm
Rainfall intensity + 5% + 10% + 20% + 30%
River flows + 10% +20 % +20 % +20 %
Wave heights + 5% + 5% + 10% + 10%

Net sea level rise (mm per year)