Ten years ago today, the 17,000 residents of Faversham in Kent experienced the UK’s hottest ever temperatures: a whopping 38.5C (101.3F). The day before, the villagers of Greycrook in Scotland basked under 32.9C (95.4). 2003 was the hottest summer for at least 500 years across Europe, leading to fires and at least 30 deaths.
One hundred thousand people packed the sands of Bournemouth; beach resorts across the UK reported ‘no vacancies’; speed restrictions were imposed on trains every noon to prevent buckled rails and a vast quantity of ice cream was consumed.
Commenting on the heatwave, the chief weather forecaster for the Met Office, Nigel Reed, said, “In the years to come, as the Earth’s atmosphere does heat up through global warming, we would expect to see these hot weather events happening with greater frequency.”
As this chart shows, 2003 may have packed a punch for a single day’s temperature, but it was in 2006 that we saw the highest mean annual temperature across the UK.
What’s striking about that chart is the gradual rise in average temperatures from the mid-60s (the black dashed line). This might be good for holidaymakers and the UK tourism industry as a whole but is a significant challenge for the agriculture sector and our water utilities, who have to contend with rising demand and falling reservoirs in the summer months. While rainfall has increased, water bosses are quick to point out that the rain often falls “in the wrong place”.
While weather extremes and record-breakers might grab headlines, the long-term trends are not encouraging.
The weather is short-term and local, our climate is long-term and global
Globally, 2010 was the hottest year on records matching 2005, with the period June 2009 to May 2010 being the hottest 12-month period ever recorded.
While many climate change deniers argue that the planet hasn’t warmed since 1998, the planet has continued to accumulate heat at a terrifying rate, as this chart from Skeptical Science illustrates.
While 2003 might have had record-breaking days in UK temperatures, the lack of leadership and action on climate change globally and mitigation nationally is as predictable as it is depressing. As Jeremy Leggett pointed out, we will shortly cross the tipping point, where negative feedback loops kick-in and change becomes irreversible, a catastrophic 2C increase is locked in, harming the global economy, the environment and everyone’s future and wellbeing.
Enjoying the warm breeze on a pristine beach is wonderful. If the cause is our fossil fuel recklessness and the cost is more extreme weather, economic instability and a degraded planet, maybe we shouldn’t glorify these record-breakers too much.
British heatwave responsible for up to 760 deaths, say researchers
Met Office bumps up heatwave warning to amber for southern regions
Study: Australia will see more extreme weather because of climate change
Environment Agency: climate change means we need to adapt to extreme weather
Like our Facebook Page
How Cities In Canada Are Addressing Climate Change
10 Tax Incentives for Businesses That are Lowering their Carbon Footprint
How to Manage Anxieties About Climate Change
Green Brands Must Understand Their Customers to Market Wisely
Key Necessities for Starting an Eco-Friendly Freelance Business
6 Ways To Overcome Cash Flow Challenges as a Green Business
Going Cashless Lowers Our Carbon Footprint and Has Other Pros and Cons
How to Be as Eco-Friendly as Possible on a Trip to New York
Why Brazed Plate Heat Exchangers Are Eco-Friendly
6 Steps For Making Crypto & Blockchain Eco-Friendly
Building a Career in Green Construction: Tips and Insights
Top 5 Benefits of Workplace Sustainability
The Role of Smart Technology in Managing EV Charging Stations
4 USA Vacation Destinations for an Eco-Friendly Trip
6 Wastewater Management Tips to Reduce Water Pollution
Why Internet Faxing Is A Sustainable Business Move
5 Ways Eco-Friendly Employers Can Boost Efficiency
What to Look for When Choosing an Eco-Friendly Locksmith
Flexible Return Policies Can Make Retail More Sustainable
Using Green Patents to Drive Sustainability & Eco-Friendly Designs
- Environment3 months ago
6 Home Improvements You Can Make to Help the Environment
- Environment10 months ago
4 Countries That Have Banned Single-Use Plastic
- Features9 months ago
5 Huge Support Tips for Eco-friendly eCommerce Brands
- Environment7 months ago
How to Ensure Your Home’s Eco-Friendly During Construction?