Climate change could spark major shifts in British produce in the coming decades as the country attempts to avoid a “catastrophic” environmental fallout, experts have said. At the end of July, the U.K.’s Royal Meteorological Society published its State of the U.K. Climate 2020 report, with the authors noting that last year was England’s third warmest year since records began in 1884. Meanwhile, the U.K. Met Office predicts that the country is set for warmer and wetter winters, hotter and drier summers and “more frequent and intense weather extremes” because of climate change.
Last year, 71% of land in the U.K. was actively being used for farming. Agriculture made up 0.5% of the country’s gross domestic production in 2020, and the industry was the source of 1.4% of all British jobs.
Martin Lukac, professor of ecosystem science at the University of Reading, told CNBC that some British farmers were already feeling the impact of more frequent extreme weather events, specifically flooding and dry spells. Elsewhere, the U.K.’s warming climate has been encouraging an expansion of the country’s wine industry.
“Here in Great Britain, the wine sector has been growing rapidly over the last 10 to 15 years,” Steve Dorling, director of innovation at the University of East Anglia’s School of Environmental Sciences, told CNBC.