Climate Change: What Will The UK Look Like in 2100?

The Eco Experts

The UK is in the top 10 least prepared countries for temperature increases

Wildfires in the UK could increase by 50% by 2100

Many parts of the UK will see increases in flooding

As weather events in the UK become more extreme, it’s clear to see that the effects of climate change are already being felt.

And without dramatically curbing carbon emissions, these impacts are only set to get worse.

To highlight this, we’ve created a series of images using AI software, to show what the UK could look like in 2100 if we continue pumping emissions into the atmosphere at this rate.

Ai-generated image of a flooded Tower of London. Water surrounds the tower.

The Tower of London could be flooded by 2100

What will the UK be like in 2100 if climate change continues?

The UK’s weather and landscape will transform dramatically by 2100 if the current rate of climate change continues.

That means more heatwaves – especially those with temperatures climbing over 40°C – and more extreme weather events, such as flooding and wildfires.

The Met Office has predicted that last year’s record-breaking 40°C will be seen as “cool”, with temperatures potentially climbing above this regularly. The result of this will be more droughts, similar to those experienced in 2022 but longer-lasting, and more wildfires around the country.

The Met also expects forest fires to increase by up to 50%, bringing destruction to nature, wildlife, property, and endangering human life.

These droughts could also lead to much stricter water rationing, so Brits will need to get used to shorter showers and less frequent garden watering, and will have to wave goodbye to luxuries like washing a car.

Flooding is also likely to be an issue when the rain returns. During heatwaves, the soil becomes hard, which makes it difficult for the ground to absorb the rain during sudden downpours. Instead, rain runs off the ground and accumulates in vast quantities, causing rivers to burst their banks and flood nearby villages and towns.

How much of the UK will be underwater?

Large areas of the UK could be underwater by 2100, including parts of London and many of the coastal areas. Regions that we can expect to be hit the hardest are the southeast and northwest of England, south Wales, and central Scotland.

This is assuming a global temperature rise of 3°C, but even limiting the increase to 1.5°C would have a big impact on the UK.

It’s predicted that in a best-case scenario, significant parts of Hull, Peterborough, Portsmouth, and parts of east London and the Thames Estuary could be underwater in just under 80 years.

How hot will the UK summers get?

By 2100, 40°C could be a normal temperature for British summers every two or three years.

And for winters, the average temperature under a worst-case emissions scenario will increase by 4°C. Additionally, the chance of a very cold winter will fall to around 1%.

This has the potential to throw the schedules of winter animals out of whack, with hibernating species emerging too early for example. We’ve already seen the impact on the winter ptarmigan, a species of bird that changes its plumage to white when the snow falls in the Scottish highlands.

Shorter periods of snowfall have meant winter ptarmigans have changed plumage too early, leaving their usually effective camouflage useless and at the mercy of predators.

How much of the UK will experience annual wildfires?

As the temperatures increase and droughts become more common, the risk of wildfires in the UK will grow exponentially, as shown in a study by the University of Exeter.

It showed that, from 2080 onwards, the UK could experience 111 days of fire risk each year. Comparatively, the risk of wildfires was at just 20 days per year between 1981 and 2010, according to the Fire Warning Index (FWI).

Ai-generated image of two firefighters dealing with a wildfire in Roddlesworth Wood

Wildfires in the UK could become much more frequent by 2100

Will any UK wildlife go extinct?

Many important species of animals in the UK could be extinct by 2100, including hedgehogs, dormice, wildcats, and water voles. Warming temperatures are partially to blame, but equally, the destruction of natural habitats is playing a big part.

Globally, around one tenth of all species could be extinct by 2100, almost entirely because of human actions.

Will the UK be okay if we stay under the 1.5°C target?

It’s likely the UK will still experience damaging effects of climate change, even if we stay under the 1.5°C target. After all, the planet has already started to feel the impact of the current increase of global temperatures by 1.1°C.

Breaching the 1.5°C target is where things get really bad – the aforementioned wildfires, flooding, droughts, and rapid loss of biodiversity will all increase immensely.

Farming will be heavily impacted by rising temperatures too, and though optimists point to the fact we could grow new crops, water may not be as easy to access. This’ll make it much harder for farmers to reliably plan growing seasons, which could lead to food shortages.

Sea levels will continue to rise beyond 2100 too, as massive glaciers, such as the Thwaites Glacier, melt at a rapid rate. More of the UK’s coastal areas could disappear, which will mean the UK might need to spend billions to update infrastructure to better cope with the stresses of climate change.

Unfortunately, we’re in the top 10 least prepared countries for temperature increases, according to a report from Oxford University.

How can the UK prepare for flooding and wildfires?

The UK will need to invest heavily in flood defences and better firefighting services to manage the impact of climate change by 2100.

In fact, it’s estimated the UK will spend £8.4 billion on flooding alone by 2050 – a 42% increase over what the country currently pays.

As for wildfires, there were at least 24,316 reported in the UK in 2022, a result of the prolonged drought and record-breaking temperatures. We can only expect this number to increase by 2100, and with large peat moorland fires typically costing £1 million each to suppress, the costs will be huge.

Ai-generated image of Hornsea coastal properties suffering from erosion and falling into the oceann

Rising sea levels will see an increase in coastal erosion

How have other countries prepared for this?

As the world adapts to climate change, it’s clear that some countries are facing – and will continue to face – a greater brunt of the impact.

Island nations are prime examples of countries having to think on their feet when it comes to the threat of rising sea levels. For example, Tuvalu has started planning ahead, with an innovative plan to create 3.6 square kilometres of raised land.

And it’ll be necessary, since around 95% of Tuvalu’s landmass is estimated to be at threat of flooding from high tides by 2100.

You can learn more about this on our page: Countries That Will Be Worst Affected by Climate Change.

Bangladesh, a country severely affected already by rising water levels, is utilising ancient techniques to combat the threat. Farmers have turned to using seedbeds that sit atop water, to avoid the increasingly salty water killing crops growing in the ground.

They’ve also started to develop salt-resistant rice, which can greater withstand the growing influx of salinated water leaking into farmland. Even with these techniques though, it’s estimated Bangladesh will have to spend billions on raising and strengthening coastal embankments.

Wildfire preparation is growing as well. In Greece, a country currently in the spotlight for wildfires, the number of firefighting aircraft has steadily been increasing year after year.

The EU has also proposed the Forest Management Law, which would require all member states to provide open access to detailed, accurate, regular, and timely information on the condition and management of their forests.

The law is designed to make it easier to build forest fire lanes – gaps in vegetation to slow or stop wildfires – and identify where available water is, and potentially where to build water ponds.


The UK is likely to undergo drastic changes, as the effects of climate change become more pronounced. We’ll all need to learn to adapt – and if temperatures climb above 1.5°C, we could be facing a very different country by 2100.

There is hope though. Reaching net zero emissions and transforming the UK into a world leader in the fight against climate change, would set a precedent for other nations to follow. And if global temperature rises can be controlled, the images in this article could remain the hypotheticals we all hope they are.

Written by:
Tom Gill
Tom joined The Eco Experts over a year ago and has since covered the carbon footprint of the Roman Empire, profiled the world’s largest solar farms, and investigated what a 100% renewable UK would look like. Tom has a particular interest in the global energy market and how it works, including the ongoing semiconductor shortage, the future of hydrogen, and Cornwall's growing lithium industry.
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