UK heatwave
Climate change experts have warned that the UK is not prepared to deal with rising temperatures. Dan Kitwood/Getty

A 2,000-page report published by the UK's Climate Change Committee on 12 July has warned that if emissions continue to rise, London summer temperatures could hit 48C. It also warned the flash flooding will cause severe damage to electricity, gas and IT connection lines, adding that the UK is not prepared to effectively tackle the risks.

The report also noted that there is a risk of public water supply shortages, which will have an impact on agriculture, energy generation and industry, and freshwater ecology. The Climate Change Committee have based their figures on the assumption that world leaders will keep their emission cutting pledges made at November's Paris climate conference.

Lord Krebs, Chairman of the Adaptation Sub-Committee of the Climate Change Committee, said: "Our assessment today, supported by the work of hundreds of scientists and other experts, identifies the most urgent climate change risks and opportunities which need to be addressed. Delaying or failing to take appropriate steps will increase the costs and risks for all UK nations arising from the climate change."

The report took more than three years of work and has involved hundreds of leading scientists and experts from the public and private sectors. It warned that poor farming will mean that the UK's most fertile soils will be badly degraded by the middle of this century, threatening the country's domestic and international food produce and trade.

Among other risks outline in the research, warnings have been issued over the effect climate change could have on key infrastructure in the UK. In addition, health and wellbeing could decrease as a result of the higher temperatures and new diseases could develop in humans, plants and animals.

Krebs said: "The impacts of climate change are becoming clearer, both in the UK and around the world. We must take action now to prepare for the further, inevitable changes we can expect."

However, the report did also outline a series of opportunities for the UK from climate change. These included the fact that UK agriculture and forestry may be able to increase production due to longer growing seasons, as well as greater economic opportunity for UK businesses due to an increased demand for adaptation-related goods and services around the world, such as engineering and insurance.