Climate Change

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stated in the 5th Assessment Report that “warming of the global climate is unequivocal”. We are used to coping with day-to-day changes in our weather, but not to our overall climate. One of the greatest challenges facing nature and biodiversity in the 21st Century will be it’s ability to respond to changes in global climate.

Will important habitat sites such as Nor Marsh in the Medway Estuary be lost to rising sea levels
Will key sites such as Nor Marsh, Medway Estuary be lost to rising seas?

Climate change is progressing faster than many people believe. These changes will bring profound changes to wildlife. There will be some benefits from climate change, including the welcome arrival of species from continental Europe such as little egrets, purple herons, hoopoes and spoonbills. Most of the impacts however are expected to be adverse, and exacerbated by the fast rate and large scale of climate change, which allows little time for natural adaptation; by the poor conservation status of many species and habitats; and by our highly modified landscapes.

A summary of projected climate change impacts for the Greater Thames Marshes NIA (taken from the UK Climate Projections 2009 – see link below) is available for download.

Climate Change Adaptation Assessment Framework

In January 2014 NIA partners (including representatives from Essex County Council, Kent County Council, Essex Wildlife Trust, Thames Estuary Partnership, Bumblebee Conservation Trust, Zoological Society London, Natural England and Environment Agency) took place in a workshop developed by RSPB’s Futurescape Programme to learn about climate impacts in the Greater Thames; consider appropriate adaptation actions; work through a step-by-step process to gather and collect information; and, develop our thinking in relation to future projects across the Greater Thames.

summary report and presentation outlining the key findings and agreed action points are now available for download.

A detailed adaptation action plan has been developed as a working document and is available on request.

Further Reading

The following information resources were referenced in the development of the climate adaptation action plan: