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There’s a storm coming: Navigating the climate change challenge

Author : Simon Cockayne, Rainford Solutions

30 November 2022

As extreme weather becomes more common in the UK, the effects will present a resilience challenge for rail. Here, Simon Cockayne, Sales & Marketing Director at Rainford Solutions, asks: how can the industry prepare its digital communications infrastructure?

Compared to pre-industrial times, the world’s average temperature has risen by just over 1ºC. That doesn’t sound like much, but the impact of global warming has already been profound and diverse. On 19 July 2022, for example, the UK saw temperatures higher than 40ºC for the first time in recent history. 

Heat is only one part of the climate change challenge, however. All that extra thermal energy in the atmosphere is making the weather more violent, with higher wind speeds and more frequent, more severe storms. Of the ten wettest days recorded since the UK started collecting rainfall data 160 years ago, six were in the past quarter of a century.

Analysis of weather data has shown that autumn days with more than 50mm of rainfall are now 60 percent more common than at the beginning of the last century. And Met Office modelling suggests that extreme rainfall events will become 29 percent more frequent during this one.

This ongoing increase in extreme precipitation has big implications for the country’s infrastructure, including its railways. 

Read the full article in DPA's December issue

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