Climate change and rising global temperatures caused by increases in concentration of atmospheric greenhouse gases has generated sea level rise, more frequent and extreme weather patterns, and changes in water temperature and chemistry.
According to the UK Climate Projections (UKCP)the average temperature over the most recent decade (2009-2018) has been on average 0.3 °C warmer than the 1981-2010 average and 0.9 °C warmer than the 1961-1990 average. All the top ten warmest years for the UK have occurred since 2002. EU satellite monitoring shows that Europe experienced the hottest summer on record during 2022.
Weather patterns are changing, showing a trend towards warmer, wetter winters and hotter, drier summers along with an increase in the frequency and intensity of extremes.
Along the coastline, UKCP predict that sea level rise will increase by up to 115cm in the South of England, relative to levels between 1981-2000. With this brings greater risk of coastal flooding from storm surges, and the height of high tides will increase.
Research also shows that rising sea temperatures impact on marine life, putting many species under stress, causing physiological changes which could have long-term effects on some species survival.
Within Chichester Harbour we are already witnessing the impacts of climate change and predictions indicate that this is only set to increase.