Sheffield getting hotter and wetter, say experts

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SHEFFIELD is hotting up – and it’s set to get much wetter, too – according to a report about the impact of climate change.

The mean annual temperature recorded at Weston Park weather station has risen from 9C in 1882 to 1900 to 10.2C in the 1991 to 2007 period.

Meanwhile, rainfall is predicted to increase steadily during the winter over the coming decades, with 15 per cent more precipitation in the winter months by the 2080s.

But rainfall in summer months is likely to fall by as much as 22 per cent in the same period to the 2080s.

The statistics are revealed in a report to Sheffield Council’s Economic and Environmental Scrutiny Committee, which meets on Thursday.

Officials said the changes pose a series of ‘risks and challenges’.

The report said: “Risks include overheating of buildings and infrastructure, risks to health from heatwaves and flooding, flood risk management, managing water resources and managing natural ecosystems.”

Officials added there would be ‘fewer winter and cold weather-related deaths’ and ‘opportunities within the leisure and tourism industry’ to take advantage of warmer weather.

But the council remains committed to a policy of reducing carbon dioxide emissions to help slow the global warming process.

Evidence of climate change presented in the council report include that the warmest years on record – 1990 and 2006 – are all in the last two decades, and the highest temperature of 34C was recorded in 2006.

Sheffield Council officials say the city must ‘manage risks and increase resilience’ to extreme weather.

Their report said the 2007 flood cost the city approximately £135 million, just under a 10th of which was borne by the council.

Action plans for the future need to cover transport, energy, housing, water, sewage and food provision, the report added.