Even if climate change were limited to 1.5°C, the UK would still be at risk of heat waves with temperatures above 40°C. Meteorologists warned of this Thursday.
A warming of 1.5 degrees compared to the pre-industrial era is the most optimistic threshold set by the Paris climate agreement. The intent is to keep this threshold possible at the COP26 summit in Glasgow, Scotland.
On the occasion of the publication of the UK Climate Report 2020, the Director-General of the Royal Meteorological Society, Liz Bentley, confirmed that the planet is already experiencing heat waves due to a warming of 1.1 to 1.2 degrees.
“If another 0.3 degrees were added to that, such heat waves would become more and more intense. Then we are likely to record temperatures of 40 degrees in the UK which we have not seen before.”
The highest temperature recorded in the UK so far was 38.7 degrees on 25 July 2019 in Cambridge.
Bentley also warned that we won’t see the effects of global warming occasionally, but very regularly.
According to the report, 2020 was the third warmest year, the fifth wettest year, and the eighth brightest month. This makes it the first year to be in the top ten in all three categories.