Outbreaks of freak weather will increase, climate experts warn

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The Independent Online

Britain faces many more unpredictable and dangerous flash floods, the country's top environmental watchdog warned yesterday, as Tony Blair contemplates publicly breaking with George Bush for the first time over global warming.

Britain faces many more unpredictable and dangerous flash floods, the country's top environmental watchdog warned yesterday, as Tony Blair contemplates publicly breaking with George Bush for the first time over global warming.

Baroness Young, head of the official Environment Agency, told The Independent on Sunday that climate change would make the torrential rainfall that flooded the Glastonbury festival and wreaked havoc in Yorkshire last week much more frequent, wrecking property and claiming lives.

She made her intervention as the Prime Minister is said to be showing "intense irritation" at the US intransigence that is sabotaging his pledge to make progress on tackling the climate crisis at the Gleneagles summit in 10 days' time. If it continues, he may take the unprecedented step of saying that the President is in a minority of one among the G8.

Both men are under increasing pressure to do more to fight global warming. Last Wednesday, the US Senate resisted intense White House pressure and resolved that global warming was occurring, that human activity was to blame, and that "mandatory steps" would be needed to tackle it.

Mr Blair's environmental adviser, Jonathon Porritt, yesterday called on him to do more about the pollution that causes climate change at home.

Lady Young, speaking as Glastonbury revellers waded through mud after flooding and as North Yorkshire villagers mopped up after their streets turned to rivers last week, said: "This sort of event will become more frequent as climate change takes place. If people are worried by what is now happening, they should know that they are going to become more common."

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