Thursday, July 29, 2021

Climate Change is Changing Britain


Scientists have repeatedly warned of worse extreme weather if global temperatures rise and politicians fail to curb carbon emissions. The UK is already undergoing climate change with increased rainfall, sunshine and temperatures, according to scientists.

The year 2020 was the third warmest, fifth wettest and eighth sunniest on record, scientists said in the latest UK State of the Climate report. No other year is in the top 10 on all three criteria. The experts said that, in the space of 30 years, the UK has become 0.9C warmer and 6% wetter.

The report's lead author Mike Kendon, climate information scientist at the UK Met Office, told BBC News: “A lot of people think climate change is in the future – but this proves the climate is already changing here in the UK. As it continues to warm we are going to see more and more extreme weather such as heatwaves and floods.”

Liz Bentley, head of the Royal Meteorological Society, said that even if governments could achieve the challenging outcome of limiting global temperature rise to 1.5C – which looks very unlikely - that would still lead to a 10% increase in the amount of water the air can hold.

“In the UK,” she said, “we are likely to see temperatures of 40C. As we get 1.5C warming, that’ll be something we see on a regular basis. People don’t realise that even a small temperature rise of 0.1 or 0.2 degrees overall can make a huge difference – especially in the frequency and intensity of extreme events." She continued, “We had roads melting last year, rails start to buckle, electric cabling starts to buckle. We often say we’d like a climate like the Med, but people were soon complaining they were too hot - not just in the day but especially at night. It often takes a massive high-impact event to change attitudes to the climate – so let’s hope what’s been happening recently with extreme weather will raise the will to tackle the problem.”

Richard Allan, professor of climate science at Reading University, explained: “Very wet periods and associated flooding are becoming more severe as higher greenhouse gas levels warm the air, increasing the moisture that fuels storms. A more thirsty atmosphere also dries the ground more effectively, intensifying the already hotter spells and making our weather more extreme.”

The State of the Climate report also indicates that plants are responding to the changes in climate. Leaves appeared on average 10.4 days earlier than the 1999- 2019 baseline for a range of common shrub/tree species. While the signs of spring got earlier, so did the indications of autumn - trees in 2020 went bare on average 4.3 days earlier than the baseline.

While substantial snow fell in 2018, 2013, 2010 and 2009, the number and severity of such weather events have declined since the 1960s.

 A new paper from the Climate Change Advisory Group explains that "Greenhouse gas levels are already too high for a manageable future for humanity."

It asks whether rapid heating in the Arctic region is driving changes in the jet stream in a way that influenced the recent weather extremes. The jet stream is a core of strong winds travelling west to east about five to seven miles above the Earth.

The paper said: "We are simultaneously witnessing weather disaster in Germany, the highest temperatures for June in Finland and the US, the catastrophic heatwave in British Columbia, and extreme heat in Siberia. These are all outlier events that exceed what one would expect if it were 'only' a 1.2C warming impact (that's the amount the Earth has already warmed since pre-industrial times)."

Socialists from their study of history are well aware that we must view the world as a holistic whole.

UK already undergoing disruptive climate change - BBC News

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