Floods and warnings

1 min read

A temporary railway station opened today in flood-hit Workington to reconnect both sides of the River Derwent after recent flooding damaged road bridges and effectively split the Cumbrian town in two, causing problems with travel and freight access.

Construction on the new temporary railway station ‘Workington North’ began last week.

Until now the quickest way from south to north Workington—and the only way over the river—has been via train which next stops at Flimby four miles away.

Record downpours ten days ago flooded 1,300 homes and caused extensive damage to local infrastructure.

The army is building a new footbridge across the River Derwent to open on Saturday 5 Dec. The 80m long prefabricated steel bridge is being constructed by 200 Royal Engineers from Tidworth, Wiltshire. This is the first time Territorial Army personnel have been included in such a project.

While extreme weather events such as those seen over the past few weeks are expected to become more frequent as climate change gathers momentum, a range of environmental groups are this week seeking to put forward their agenda ahead of next week’s climate change negotiations at Copenhagen in December. Amongst them The World Association of Zoos and Aquariums (WAZA) warned today that zoos and aquariums will become the last places on Earth to see species such as polar bears and coral if negotiations fail in Copenhagen.

Over 200 zoos belonging to the WAZA have signed a petition calling on governments to set targets of atmospheric carbon dioxide below 350ppm to avoid the possibility of mass extinction.

Scientists and conservationists, including Sir David Attenborough, agreed at a crisis meeting in July 2009 that coral reefs undergo irreversible damage beyond the 350ppm boundary.

PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) economics and climate change team release a report on Tuesday that estimates the global carbon budget for 2000-2050 needed to meet the 2oC trajectory.

The report ranks the achievement of G20 nations to date and their distance to go against carbon reduction targets.

Against these estimates PwC says one fifth of the global carbon budget for the first half of the century was used in just eight years, and the rate of carbon intensity reduction now needed is four times the annual rate achieved between 2000-2008. The report includes updates following announcements from China and the US in November, and estimates the current overall global carbon debt.