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'Serious risk' of more severe weather

The UK faces the “serious risk” of an increase in severe weather conditions in the future, the government has warned.

Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said the predicted rise in sea levels could create the “perfect storm” conditions in the future.

Appearing before the Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) Select Committee in Parliament, she insisted that the coalition government was committed to boosting flood defences as a result.

She said: “The underlying implications of a rise in sea levels of 300mm by 2050 is significant, we have to plan for that.”

She said that in the coming decades the UK faced the “serious risks of the perfect storm”.

“We need to plan for the predictable fact that there will be an increased frequency of severe weather events.”

She said the importance of flood protection had to be elevated to reflect this threat.

Spelman confirmed that her department would have to find cuts of between 25% to 40% as part of the government’s spending review.

But she told the committee that she was unable to give specific details about where the cuts might fall until the publication of the review next month.

Readers' comments (1)

  • M/s Spelman should have a look at the current rate of increase of sea level. It is about 300mm per century! Just about the same as the world has experienced for some hundreds of years.

    Sea levels have been rising ince the last ice age. That is the normal way of things and will continue till we enter the next ice age, at which time the water in the seas will be converted into clouds/snow/ ice and sea levels will go DOWN 100.000 mm.

    We have a hundred years to cope with a rise of sea level of one foot. If we start now with a gang of a 100 men they could build a wall two foot high round the UK before the water rose one foot. Solving this is a routine engineering matter.

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