Climate change

London Essays – Issue 8: Futures

Climate change

Over the next few decades, climate change is likely to become an increasingly important influence on London.

As the graphic shows, both summer and winter temperatures are expected to rise significantly over the coming decades. Winters are likely to be wetter, but summers are likely to see less rain.

Some parts of London are much more vulnerable to climate change than others, either because they are more exposed to flooding or because they are less resilient to heat due to their high density and lack of green space. The maps use a climate change vulnerability score to show how the impacts of climate change are predicted to vary across the city.

Almost 25 per cent of London neighbourhoods have “extreme” or “acute” heat-related vulnerability – the highest average heat vulnerability scores of any part of England. Central and Inner London areas tend to be more vulnerable, and vulnerability is strongly correlated with deprivation.

London has a high proportion of areas “extremely” (8.4 per cent) and “relatively” (32.4 per cent) exposed to flooding. These places also tend to be particularly vulnerable to heat, amplifying the dangers of climate change.

As a general rule, the areas of London most vulnerable to climate change are the poorest, and those where the population is likely to grow fastest.

View full screen<em>Source</em>: Climate projections from UK Climate Projections (UKCP09) (2009). Vulnerability scores from ClimateJust (2014).

Note: Temperature and precipitation projected changes are based on a 19611990 average baseline and a medium global emissions scenario.