Climate Change

Climate change is a natural process. The Earth's climate has changed many times over millions of years, warming and cooling the planet. This change is very slow, and because of that the planet and the life on it can adapt.

Climate change is often in the news today. However, the speed of this change has increased.

Changes are being measured in decades and years, not millions of years. That pace of change is important, and it is thought by most scientists that humans are responsible for it.

How does it all work?

The Earth’s climate is an interactive system made up of many different components but is driven by the Sun. It heats the Earth. Most of that heat is reflected back into space, but some is trapped by gases in the atmosphere and drives the Earth’s weather systems.

The gases in the atmosphere are produced by life on Earth. If the amount of gases change, or the combinations of gases, then the climate can change. It can become cooler or warmer, wetter or drier. And a change to the climate can change the weather we get.

Caerfai Bay during Storm Ophelia in 2017.​

What can we expect in Pembrokeshire?

No one can say exactly what is going to happen as the climate changes, but here are some things that might change:

  • Weather. If the climate gets warmer the atmosphere can hold more water. This could mean more rain, and more very heavy downpours.
  • Changing seasons. Winters may become warmer and wetter, and summers may become wetter. Spring may arrive as early as February.
  • Worse weather. We may see stronger, fiercer storms from the Atlantic, not just during the winter.
  • Wildlife. Creatures cannot adapt as quickly. Some species may not be able to cope with warmer weather. Others which migrate to Pembrokeshire may find no food when they arrive, and may not be able to raise their young.
  • Farming. Wet summers are bad news for crops.
  • Estuaries. More storms will mean that the mud in the estuaries will be washed away, or could bring more mud into the estuaries from floods. This will affect people using the waterway or wildlife.
  • Tourism. Will people want to visit Pembrokeshire if our summers become wetter and stormier?
Flooding at Newgale in 2014

What does this mean?

These changes may not seem important, but imagine how where you live might be affected. Tenby is a popular resort in the National Park. Will people want to visit if the summers are colder and wetter? How will this affect hotels, caravan parks or even ice-cream sellers?

About the National Park