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.
Like our Facebook Page
Cultivating an Environmentally-Friendly Home
Eco-Friendly Healthcare: Five Steps for a More Sustainable Medical Practice
Embracing Profit and Long-Term Sustainability: An Undeniably Green Future
4 Eco-Friendly Tips to Maximize the Fuel Efficiency of Diesel Generators
How Your Business Can Create a More Sustainable Supply Chain
There is no Planet B: The Growing Importance of ESG
How Municipalities Can Become More Energy Efficient
The 10 Best Eco-Friendly Destinations to Visit in France
5 Incredibly Simple Ways to Make Money Streaming Eco-Friendly Content
5 Great Ways to Have a More Eco-Friendly Wedding This Year
Greta Thunberg: a True Advocate for Environmental and Women’s Rights
The Vegan Revolution: Rise of The Plant-Based Business
Here’s Why Solar Power Demand Has Accelerated Sharply
Africa Must Capitalize on Growing Interest in Sustainable Investments
Creating an Eco-Friendly Garden that is Free of Pests
How to Make Your Ecommerce Business More Eco-Friendly?
Luxury Development for The Ultra-Rich Causing Climate Change Conundrum in Barbuda
How Can Social Media Help In Promoting Sustainable Lifestyle?
4 Electric Car Maintenance Tips to Slash Your Carbon Footprint
3 Things Sustainable Companies Do for ‘Green’ Construction
- Features9 months ago
Eco-Friendly Interior Design Is Easier Than You Might Think
- Features7 months ago
Eco-Friendly Hacks To Create A Durable Shop For Your Home
- Features7 months ago
5 Simple Ways To Create A Greener And Healthier Home
- Environment10 months ago
The Benefits Of Sustainable Agriculture For Farmers