Scientists claim that because of climate breakdown, the UK is no longer a cold country and that previously unthinkable heatwaves are killing people.
The Met Office has forecast for the first time that temperatures over 40C (104F) will occur this week, but climate projections indicate that similar weather occurrences will grow more frequently.
This involves modernizing the housing stock and making sure new construction can cool off in hot weather. The government should also develop a special heat risk plan.
The Grantham Institute at the LSE’s Bob Ward said: “The current prime minister has disregarded repeated recommendations to develop a national heat risk strategy that would involve all pertinent government ministries in addressing the growing threat from heatwaves.
He criticized critics and MPs who called people who are afraid of heatwaves “snowflakes.” The head of the Common Sense Group of Conservative MPs, Sir John Hayes, stated over the weekend that heat warnings were a sign of a “cowardly new world,” adding that it was not unexpected that snowflake Britain was melting. Thank goodness most of us are not freaks of nature.
In response, Ward stated: “In recent days, some have asserted in the UK media that the rising awareness of the risks associated with heatwaves is an indication of a deterioration in British resilience. But such indifference for hundreds of lives that may have been avoided just serves to emphasize the difficulties we confront in addressing the escalating hazards posed by climate change.
“The UK needs to stop seeing itself as just a frigid place where any summertime warmth is welcomed as a chance to visit the beach and indulge in ice cream. For at least the next 30 years, heat waves—a dangerous form of extreme weather—will only get worse. Particularly for those who are most vulnerable to heat waves, we must adapt and improve our self-defense.
Governments have been encouraged by scientists to act rapidly to phase out fossil fuels and achieve net zero emissions in order to prevent the situation from getting worse.
Climate change is to blame for this heatwave, as it is to blame for every heatwave right now, according to Dr. Friederike Otto, a senior lecturer in climate science at the Grantham Institute. Heatwaves are getting hotter, staying longer, and happening more frequently due to greenhouse gas emissions from burning fossil fuels like coal, gas, and oil.
Heatwaves that were once unusual are increasingly regular, and those that were once unthinkable are now occurring and claiming lives.
As long as greenhouse gas emissions are not reduced, heat waves will only get worse. Heatwaves will become more intense and hazardous as well as more frequent and persistent the longer it takes for the globe to achieve net zero emissions. Stopping the combustion of fossil fuels as soon as feasible is the only way to stop heat records from being broken repeatedly.
Climate researcher Dr. Eunice Lo from the University of Bristol Cabot Institute for the Environment stated: “The climate has warmed dramatically since 1976. The top 10 hottest years, for which we have records dating back to 1884, have all happened since 2002.
“Temperatures now occurring that were previously inconceivable. This is extraordinary; it has never happened before. 1976 cannot be compared because the previous record was shattered in 2019. In the coming days, there is a good potential that we may break this again. These are new extremes by definition.
Dismayed meteorologists reported the bad news about the intense heat. Dr. Nikos Christidis, a scientist at the Met Office who studies climate attribution, stated, “We hoped we wouldn’t get to this scenario, but for the first time ever we are projecting hotter than 40C in the UK.
The possibility of temperature extremes in the UK has already been impacted by climate change, he continued. In comparison to a naturally occurring climate undisturbed by human impact, the likelihood of 40°C days in the UK may be up to 10 times higher in the current climate.
Even with current pledges to reduce emissions, the likelihood that any location in the UK may experience temperatures above 40°C in a given year has been rising quickly. In the climate of 2100, such extremes may occur every 15 years.
It appears that this week’s risk of extremely high temperatures will continue. Prof. Hannah Cloke, a specialist in natural disasters at the University of Reading, stated: “From what I hear, we will hopefully see temperatures drop back down in a few days, but there is a chance of temperatures shooting back up in a week or two, which is quite alarming for the UK and Europe.
“There is a significant chance that there will be further heatwaves throughout the world for the remainder of the summer, and we will be monitoring that very carefully.”
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