Saturday, July 22, 2006

French grapes will grow...

... in the UK by 2090, according to this very interesting and vaguely scary report in the Guardian. These prjections for how life will change in the UK are obviously only projections but they are conservative and reasonably certain.

In other words, as I was remarking to a few friends last night, I’ll not see a lot of snow again in my lifetime unless I emigrate. Snow in winter means a lot to me, so I may consider it! Taking info from the report, though, here’s how things will pan out:

When I’m in my early forties, winters will consist of heavy downpours of rain rather than continuous stretches of it; summers will consist of more heatstroke and food poisoning; some crops will die out because it won’t be moist enough for them; we’ll be planting beech trees in the North of England as their range moves up there; some tropical fish will be found in the Channel; the Lake District will be plagued by a huge increase in visitor numbers in summer, eroding its paths and causing more accidents for the Mountain Rescue Team to deal with.

When I’m in my early seventies, I’ll probably be getting ready to drop off the twig anyway but summers will *all* be hotter than the 2003 heatwave, increasing my risk of heat-related death; sea levels will be 30cm higher around English coasts, specially in the south; mosquitoes will be a standard and potentially malarial irritant in summer; climate refugees from much hotter European countries could choose to settle here, meaning we’ll all have more foreign friends, which will be a Good Thing.

And if I make it to being just over 100, I forecast plenty of alcohol, drugs, and young male prostitutes if I’m rich enough. Heh. But seriously: winter gales will increase and snow will be almost unknown; those French grape varieties could be growing on the slopes of the Lake District; lowland pine forests will start to disappear; capercaillie could be gone for good from this planet as even North Scotland becomes to warm for them to live; July and August will be truly scorching and far too hot for holidays; skiing will be for super-rich people again because current resorts will be well below the new snow line; and finally, we could become an outdoor culture.

Hmmm. I’m feeling rather hot this morning. But the warmth isn’t going to stop me having my freshly-made coffee. Oh no.

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