At the turn of the century, the exceptional heat wave in the UK of 40°C will arrive every 4 years
Heat wave in UK can break record of 38.7 ºF in 2019
(Sustainabilityenvironment.com) – For the first time, the British Met Office expects that the temperature in Great Britain can reach 40C. It’s the effect of the massive heat wave in the UK that is going to peak between now and tomorrow, and that in the past few days has already turned red the Iberian Peninsula and France. A phenomenon that may seem exceptional to us, but if observed in the context of the climate crisis has increasingly “normal” contours.
The probability of a heat wave in the UK reaching temperatures of 40 degrees was much lower 50 years ago than today. In 1971 it was an event that could occur once every 1000 years. In 2022 the probability is once every 86 years. And the frequency will certainly increase in the future due to the global warming already incorporated due to the CO2 present in the atmosphere. In a high-emission scenario, in 2090 reaching 40 degrees will be “exceptional” like a leap year: the frequency will rise to once every 4 years. Every 15 if the climate promises of the COP26 will be respected.
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The UK record for heat today is 38.7 at the Cambridge Botanic Garden on 25 July 2019. According to the Met Office, some of the models in use give a 50% probability of exceeding 40 degrees in some areas of the country, while there is a chance of 80% to beat the record of hot.
“We hoped it would not come to this, but for the first time ever we expect more than 40°C in the UK,” explains Nikos Christidis of the Met Office. “In a recent study we found that the likelihood of extremely hot days in the UK has increased and will continue to increase over the course of the century,” he continues. Result: “The chances of seeing 40°C days in the UK may be 10 times more likely in the current climate than in a natural climate unaffected by humans“.