Last month, in July of 2022, the Met Office issued a red extreme heat warning covering much of central, northern, and south-east England this week, with temperatures soaring into the 40Cs and breaking records.
The previous highest temperature recorded for the UK was 38.7C, set in 2019.
But whilst we enjoy our ice creams, paddling pools and day trips to the beach, what does this mean for our planet?
By August, more than 60% of the UK is experiencing drought conditions, with multiple water companies imposing regional hosepipe bans with more threatening to do the same. Elsewhere, wildfires have started to break out, and are being considered a ‘national risk.’
Climate scientists are sure the heatwave is down to climate change, with even the Met Office believing that global warming, caused by greenhouse gases through burning fossil fuels, has made things worse by at least 10 times.
According to the UN’s climate science body, IPCC, we’re living in the hottest period for 125,000 years. A red extreme weather warning signals threat to life in the UK – in 2020, 2,000 extra deaths were attributed to the heat, according to the UK Health Security Agency – and elsewhere in Europe, wildfires are devastating entire areas and destroying wildlife in the process.
These changes are currently occurring as a result of just a 1C increase in our planet’s temperature since pre-industrialised times. However, by the end of the century, this increase is projected to be somewhere in the region of 2.4C.
In order to limit global warming, CO2 emissions must halve by 2030, and must be at net zero by 2050. and yet, the world simply doesn’t seem to be doing enough… yet.
Is this a cry for help from our planet? Read more about taking Climate Action here.