London | Meteorologists warned Thursday that the United Kingdom, already facing a warmer and wetter climate, is at risk of summer temperatures exceeding 40 degrees Celsius even if global warming remains limited to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
This limit corresponds to the more ambitious goal set by the Paris Agreement to limit global warming compared to the pre-industrial era, which the British presidency of COP 26, scheduled for November in Glasgow, hopes to “live”. According to many scientists, it is elusive.
Marking the publication of the UK’s annual Climate Report 2020, the Royal Meteorological Society’s Executive Director, Liz Bentley, noted that the planet is already experiencing extreme heat caused by a warming of 1,1 to 1.2 degrees. NS.
“If we add another 0.3C,” she said, the heat waves “will get more and more intense – we’ll probably see 40C in the UK even though we haven’t seen that kind of temperature.”
The highest temperature recorded in the UK is 38.7°C, a record that was set on July 25, 2019 in Cambridge.
“By reaching 1.5°C of global warming, it won’t be something we only see once or twice,” but “something we’ll see on a regular basis,” she added.
Mike Kendon, author of the report, judged the BBC that 40 degrees Celsius in summer in the UK is “reasonable”, noting that global warming is already manifesting itself in the country.
According to the report, 2020 is the third warmest, the fifth wettest, the eighth brightest, and the first out of the top ten of these three criteria.
The average winter temperature was 5.3 °C, 1.6 °C more than the average observed between 1981 and 2010.
With 34°C hitting six days in a row at the start of August 2020, southern England was hit by one of the biggest heat waves in the past 60 years. According to Mike Kendon, 34°C has been exceeded in seven of the past 10 years in the UK, compared to seven of the last 50 years.
For US Special Envoy on Climate John Kerry, COP26 in Glasgow is the “last chance to reduce the damage” linked to climate change.
On Thursday, he warned during a conversation in London with former British Prime Minister Tony Blair that “Glasgow is our last hope of avoiding the worst consequences and that the planet is not changing in an unpredictable way.”
The UK was hit by torrential rains last weekend which led to flooding in London. Several regions of the world have recently experienced such extreme weather events, from deadly floods in Germany in mid-July to devastating floods on Thursday in Afghanistan.
“It will now be necessary to manage water efficiently,” John Kerry estimated on Thursday, and “adapt” the infrastructures of working countries, by “building dams, walls, barriers, and pump systems.”
According to Tom Burke, head of environmental thought group E3G, COP26 will be the first edition of this World Climate Conference where “the science of climate change has been validated by events.”
“It’s not about what scientists say anymore, it’s what people go through,” he told reporters on Thursday, calling on Prime Minister Boris Johnson to “be more clear” on the diplomatic front before COP26.
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