Weather Forecast: Climate change forecast for 2050 when UK temperatures reach 40 degrees Celsius

A hypothetical weather forecast for 2050 should become reality 28 years earlier as the UK braces for an ‘unprecedented’ heat wave.

In a set of charts, two years ago, the UK’s official weather and climate service produced a “plausible” weather forecast for July 2050 based on the country’s climate forecasts.

At the time, the Met Office stressed that the graphics were “not [an] actual weather forecast.

But earlier this week, “plausible” will become reality – 28 years early – as England braces for an “absolutely unprecedented” heat wave and, according to experts, “look into the future” if global greenhouse gas emissions are not cut to zero.

“Tuesday’s forecast today is startlingly nearly identical for most of the country,” wrote atmospheric scientist Dr. Simon Lee at Columbia University in New York in the now viral article. Twitter a thread.

“To clarify: I don’t think you can interpret this as climate change happening ‘faster than expected’.

Climate models have shown that 40°C is possible in the UK in the current climate, but very rarely. I want to say that what happens on Tuesday gives a glimpse into the future.

“In the current climate, 40°C represents a new extreme that is becoming increasingly likely due to climate change. Forecasts for 2050 and 2022 show extreme events, but 40°C in the 2050 forecast is less extreme than 40°C in 2022.”

Temperatures in the UK are forecast to be 10 to 15 degrees above normal early this week, with a record high of 40 degrees Celsius on Tuesday in the south east of England, caused by a high pressure area that stretches over France, Spain and Portugal where thousands firefighters fought the fire.

The Met Office said “there is a 50 percent chance we will see temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius and an 80 percent chance we will see a new maximum temperature reach.” The country’s highest temperature ever measured was previously 38.7°C at the Cambridge Botanic Gardens in 2019.

“We hoped that we would not get to such a situation,” said Met Office climate attribution specialist Dr. Nikos Christidis in an interview. statement.

“Climate change has already affected the likelihood of extreme temperatures in the UK. The chances of seeing 40 degree days in the UK could be 10 times higher in the current climate than in a natural climate unaffected by humans.”

Health officials fear “hundreds or thousands” of people could die as a result of extreme temperatures – with conditions comparable to the 2003 heat wave in France that killed 14,000, mostly elderly – prompting the government to call the first-ever national extreme heat. Red alert.

A level 4 warning issued by the UK Health Safety Agency (UKHSA) on Monday and Tuesday means “illness and death can occur among the fit and healthy, not just high-risk groups.”

“I think assuming the weather forecasts are roughly correct, it’s very likely that there will be hundreds of thousands of excess heat deaths in the next few days,” said Open University Professor Emeritus of Applied Statistics Kevin McConway. The keeper.

“It is possible that because there have been so many warnings of upcoming high temperatures, people and businesses will take more precautions than usual during a heat wave, which could reduce excess deaths.

“I hope it will, but I’m afraid there will still be excess mortality on a fairly large scale.”

Residents have been urged to treat the heat wave as a storm warning and consider changing their plans, while operations are being canceled in parts of the National Health Service (NHS), some schools are closing early or at all, and Network Rail has told people to miss a train from – for fear of bent rails.

NHS Confederation chief executive Matthew Taylor said the service will be under intense pressure in the coming days, “due to severe bed shortages, ambulance services are heavily overwhelmed and several health systems across the country have to announce critical incidents.”

Therefore, public health officials are urging people to stay indoors with curtains closed and avoid caffeine, alcohol and exercise during the hottest hours of the day to reduce pressure on emergency services and hospitals.

Some roadside assistance companies are also expecting an additional 1,000 daily breakdowns linked to the risk of car engines overheating or running out of fuel.

Met Office Executive Director Penny Endersby said it can be “difficult for people to make optimal decisions” in “unprecedented severe weather events…because nothing in their life experiences has led them to where to expect.”

Case in point: recent reports it is estimated that no more than five percent of British homes have air conditioning to keep residents cool.

“Here in the UK, we tend to think of the heat as an opportunity to go out and play in the sun,” Ms Endersby said.

“This is not the weather. Our way of life and infrastructure are not adapted to what is coming.”

This was announced by Professor Richard Betts, lead researcher on climate impacts at the University of Exeter and the Met Office’s Hadley Centre. The keeper The situation in the coming days will not be one-off, as a potential “thermal dome” should develop over the Mediterranean in August, which could also cause very high temperatures to be shifted north into the UK.

“We are already seeing more frequent, longer and hotter heatwaves,” Professor Betts said.

“We can safely attribute this to anthropogenic climate change. We can expect this to continue until we cut global greenhouse gas emissions to zero.”

Originally published as UK heatwave ‘nearly identical’ to climate forecasts for 2050 as 40°C predicted