Britain’s heating climate is becoming increasingly uncomfortable – and deadly for some | UK News


Temperatures have been rising steadily for several days, reaching 32C (89.6F) in Northolt, north-west London, at 3pm on Monday.

The same heat wave affects France, Portugal and Spain, where temperatures reached 43°C (109°F) near Seville on Sunday.

Look at a map of Europe and you can see a heat spot more than 1000 miles across.

The highest temperature ever recorded in the UK was 38.7°C (101.6°F) in Cambridge on 25 July 2019.

We’re a long way from that, but there’s a chance the record will be broken later in the week.

Of course it’s midsummer, so it’s bound to be hot. But does it get hotter more often?

Below are each year’s peak temperatures back to 1900, color coded from cooler blue to hotter red.

There are scattered days with temperatures above 35 °C (95 °F) during the 20th century, but over the past decade there has been a trend for reds and oranges to have consistently higher peak temperatures.

The warming trend is really noticeable when you look at average temperatures for the whole summer, not just for each hot day.

Summer heat has been increasing since the last decades of the last century: the five warmest summers on record have all been since 1976.

So a clear trend. But is it climate change?

Yes, says the Met Office. It looked like the summer of 2018 was the warmest on record.

It turned out that the probability of such a hot summer in a natural climate was only 0.5%. But because of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, that percentage had risen to 12%.

Watch The Climate Show with Tom Heap

In other words, a record summer is now almost 30 times more likely due to climate change.

The warming trend will accelerate. By mid-century, the Met Office is forecasting a summer as hot as 2018 every two years.

And if greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise as predicted, temperatures in the UK will peak at 40C (104F) or more every three to four years by the end of the century.

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“Don’t wrinkle like a raisin” – heatwave tips

This sweltering heat is life-threatening – especially for young and old – if temperatures remain high for several days.

Heat waves currently kill an average of around 2,000 per year. By 2050 it should be 7,000.

Life in Britain’s hot climate is becoming increasingly uncomfortable for all of us. And deadly for some.

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