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What's on the U.K.'s Top 100 Effects of Global Warming List?

"...opportunities to grow new crops such as soy, sunflowers, peaches, apricots and grapes..."

According to a new study produced by the U.K. government, some potential effects of global warming could include improved mental health, less colds, more farm production, less energy for heating and increased habitat for some species, according to the Daily Mail. But it also could result in things like extreme flooding, shorter staff hours due to hot temperatures inside buildings and less habitat for less tolerant species.

The first Climate Change Risk Assessment from the U.K.'s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs evaluated 100 of the more than 700 potential impacts of climate change. According to reports, it's not all bad. The Daily Mail has more on the pros and cons:

With the melting of the Arctic sea, new routes will open up which will reduce journey times and fuel costs.

The warmer water temperatures mean sole and plaice will be more plentiful in the UK, though cod and haddock will move to cooler climates.

Also, with Britain acquiring a more temperate climate, public health costs are set to decline.

[...]

The report found that warmer conditions in Scotland could lead to an increase in forest productivity and yields of key agricultural crops, although there is a potential for increased threats due to new or more widespread pests and diseases.

Agriculture and forestry will also be affected. Droughts and some pests and diseases could increase as a result of warmer weather, which could reduce timber yields and quality and drive up timber costs by the 2080s.

On the plus side, sugar beet yields could rise by up to 70 percent and wheat yields by as much as 140 percent by mid-century due to longer growing seasons if water and nutrients are available.

"A warmer climate presents opportunities to grow new crops such as soy, sunflowers, peaches, apricots and grapes, while new markets may open up overseas for British grown produce," the study said.  

The journal Nature reports that the study was a requirement of the 2008 Climate Change Act, which requires the U.K. to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions by 80 percent from its 1990 levels by 2050. Nature reports Bob Watson, chief scientist, as saying flooding would be the earliest consequence. It states that the U.K. already spends  £1.3 billion (US$2.04 billion) each year on flood damage, but by 2080, the report states, costs could rise anywhere from £2.1 billion to £12 billion.

The Daily Mail has compiled a list of the upsides and downsides of global warming: check it out here.

One last thing…
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