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Thursday, June 20, 2024

Climate change plan will leave UK unprepared, advisers warn

The Met Office predicts that the record-breaking UK heat experienced in 2022 will be considered cool by the end of this century. Last year’s heatwave pushed the UK’s record over 40C for the first time, making it an extraordinary year.

If carbon emissions remain as expected, hot years like 2022 will become the norm by 2060. However, by 2100, the UK would experience cooler than average temperatures.

Climate change is significantly impacting all parts of the UK and played a key role in driving last year’s temperatures to record highs.

2022 was the warmest year in UK records, dating back to 1884, and also broke the Central England temperature series dating back to 1659. The highest daily temperature recorded last year was 40.3C, surpassing the previous high mark by a significant margin.

Also Read: Ocean Heatwave: South Florida’s Record-Breaking Temperature

The Met Office’s State of the UK Climate report for 2022 indicates that, except for December, every month was warmer than the 1991-2020 average.

Extreme temperatures in the UK are changing much faster than the average, with hotter days becoming more frequent. The authors attribute the UK’s record year to climate change, and this trend is likely to continue through this century.

Looking ahead, under a medium emissions scenario, there’s a 1 in 15 chance that the UK would hit 40C in any one year. Climate projections indicate a path for hotter, drier summers, making 2022 a sign of things to come in the future with the changing climate.

Despite the increasing likelihood of extreme temperatures due to climate change, the UK needs to prioritize climate change preparations, as advised by the government’s independent climate advisers.

The 40C heat experienced in July last year caused extensive disruptions in transportation, power supply, and healthcare. Proper preparation for intense heat and other extreme events like flooding is essential.

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