Free tool predicts climate impacts on wetlands

3rd February 2012


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  • Ecosystems ,
  • Natural resources

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IEMA

Scientists have created a new online tool to predict the impact a changing climate will have on England and Wales' wetlands over the next 50 years

The free assessment tool, created by the Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), uses data from the UK Climate Projections programme to forecast the effect changing rainfall patterns, increasing temperatures and rising sea levels will have on wetlands.

Ecologists and environmentalists concerned about a specific area can input information about the wetland – location, type of wetland, water source and an issue of concern, such as the impact on water levels, plant life or birds – and the tool calculates the most likely effect of climate change.

Designed to bring together the most up-to-date science and present it in an easy to understand form, the tool assigns its predictions a “RAG” (red, amber, green) status, clearly identifying areas at most risk.

The project’s leader professor Mike Acreman, said: “Wetland conservation is a global issue. Although the initial tool is directly applicable only to England and Wales, we plan to extend its coverage to other countries and regions in the near future.”

Launched to coincide with on World Wetlands Day, the tool can be accessed from the CEH website.

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