The GuardianThe Guardian

The terrifying truth: Britain’s a hothouse, but one day 40C will seem cool

By Bill McGuire

18 Jul 2022 · 4 min read

Editor's Note

This opinion piece, from a professor and climate activist, argues that we should worry about the future in relation to the climate crisis. Find out why, here.

There’s no getting around it, the UK’s once equable climate is falling apart. We are now firmly on course for hothouse Britain and the signs are all around us. Just three years ago, the mercury hit 38.7C (101.7F) in Cambridge – then an all-time record. A year later, meteorologists at the UK Met Office mocked-up a weather forecast for 2050, showing 40C-plus temperatures across much of the UK.

But the speed of climate breakdown is such that this future is already upon us. On Monday, the Met Office’s first ever red extreme heat warning comes into force for much of England, as ferocious 40C-plus temperatures threaten to overwhelm ambulance services and A&E departments, and potentially bring about thousands of deaths.

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