Humans making impact on climate change, says report

The UK has already begun to feel the effects of man-made climate change, a Government-funded report says today.

Temperatures in central England have risen by about 1C since the 1970s, with significant influence from humans, the first of a series of five reports from the UK Climate Impact Programme 08 shows.

The central England temperature, which has measurements stretching back to 1659, shows 2006 was the warmest year yet.

The research also shows severe windstorms have become more frequent in the past few decades but are no higher than the levels seen at the beginning of the last century. Sea surface temperatures around the UK coast have risen by about 0.7C over the past three decades.

The Climate of the United Kingdom and Recent Trends report forms part of a 2m project funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, which aims to give businesses and families an idea of what climate change will mean on their own doorstep. The project will produce five reports and form the basis of an interactive website. When it goes live in late 2008, the website will aim to provide climate change projections which can be customised by users.

The first report looks at the retrospective and present situation of climate change in the UK.