Conservation walk around Lower Winskill Farm © Paul Harris

Climate change

Evidence from the UK Climate Impacts Programme (2009) shows that, over the next century, the climate in the Yorkshire Dales National Park is likely (although not certain) to become generally warmer and wetter in winter, and hotter and drier in summer. In addition, extreme events such as storms, flooding and heat waves are predicted to occur more frequently and with increased severity.

These anticipated changes will have direct impacts on the natural environment of the National Park. People who live, work in and visit the National Park are also likely to experience the indirect impacts of these changes as they adapt.

During 2010, the English National Park Authorities commissioned a piece of work to identify the amount of greenhouse gases being emitted from each of the English National Parks.

This combined an analysis of the most recent available information on carbon dioxide emissions with an assessment of the contribution of the other two most important greenhouse gases – methane and nitrous oxide

The results showed that the largest source of carbon dioxide emissions in the Yorkshire Dales National Park is road transport. However, there is growing evidence to suggest that emissions from degraded peat on the moors may be an equally large source.

The largest source of methane and nitrous oxide is agricultural land use.

The relatively small population means that agriculture, forestry and other land uses are particularly important in determining the overall level of human-induced greenhouse gas emissions arising within the National Park area.