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Warm and wet

Flood protection - Thames Gateway

'We have to accept, as a starting point, that flooding is an issue and global warming is a fact, ' says Alex Nickson, environment and sustainability officer with London Thames Gateway Partnerships.

Climate change scenarios published by the UK Climate Impacts Programme (UKCIP) suggest that, by the end of this century, average annual temperatures across the county could increase by 2infinityC-3.5infinityC.

Winters are likely to become wetter with more frequent heavy precipitation. Intense but infrequent rainfall events may be 20% heavier by 2080.

Normal sea levels will continue to rise around most of the UK's shoreline, particularly in south east England where UKCIP predicts the rise could be between 260mm and 860mm above the current level by 2080.

Furthermore, 'extreme sea levels' will be experienced 10 to 30 times more frequently, particularly on the east coast.

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