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The Island's Climate

The Isle of Wight has a unique landscape with historical, conservational and archaeological importance; it is home to over 130,000 people and is a recognised holiday destination. The Island is, however, highly exposed to wind and wave attack from the Atlantic and has a soft underlying geology, rendering the coastline vulnerable to a high rate of coastal erosion.

As the understanding of a warming climate increases and the impacts this will have on the Island’s population, industry and future is recognised, there is a demand for their safety to be addressed and measures to be taken to prevent damage to the Island’s infrastructure, economy and resident’s well-being.

Brief summary of likely climate changes:
Rising global temperatures will bring changes in our weather patterns including increased frequency and intensity of extreme weather and rising sea levels. There is good news too: the warmer summers could boost our tourist trade and allow us to lead a more healthy outdoor lifestyle. The heatwave of 2003 is likely to become the norm by the summers of the 2050s, and to be considered relatively cool by the 2080s. There are conflicting theories about how our winters will change, we could experience milder and wetter winters or the micro effects of climate change may result in more snow and ice.

By the 2050s, it is likely that we will see:

  • Average summer temperatures increasing by 2.8 degrees C
  • Winter rainfall increase of 16%
  • Summer rainfall decrease of 19%
  • Up to 76cm sea level rise (by 2095).
  • Overall increase in temperature and rainfall variability
  • More frequent and extreme summer heatwaves and very wet winters

Climate Adaptation and Mitigation
Adaptation focuses on altering behaviour and researching ways to reduce the impact of a changing climate and more extreme weather events, then taking action to reduce the impacts.Adaptation is an important part of equipping ourselves with the necessary tools to reduce the impact which these weather events may throw at us, reducing the infrastructural and personal damage they can cause.
Mitigation against climate change addresses the causes of our warming climate, reducing the GHG (greenhouse gas) concentration in the atmosphere by limiting the amount of anthropogenic (man-made) emissions.