UK Summer temperatures to be 5.4c Hotter!

Many reading this will probably be thinking, 5.4c hotter, Bring it on!

As we all know the UK is not the first place you think of when summery weather is what you are after with many of us heading to the Mediterranean to get that glorious sunshine.

With that in mind the prospect of saving a few quid and taking a sunshine holiday here in the UK may be a welcome prospect.

However whilst it might sound good the risks it would bring could cause more harm than good with a rise in Heat strokes for example especially for those most vulnerable.

Extreme heat during summer will also lead to Forest/Grass fires and a rise in the number of severe thunderstorms. These severe thunderstorms will result in an increased chance of major flash floods, Severe hail and damaging winds.

As for the cooler side of the year an increase in Sea levels will put homes and businesses at risk of flooding particularly during wet stormy weather with sea levels potentially rising over 1 metre!

Despite all the warnings the Met Office report does state that this would be a worse case scenario by the year 2070 and should the world reduce harmfull emissions the temperature rises expected are likely to be around 2c by 2100.

 

7 Clues climate change is here to stay

Everywhere you look, there’s evidence of the changing climate all around us, and scientists recently confirmed that the window for averting the worst damage has probably closed.

Even if we make dramatic changes now – and, given the current political climate, that’s unlikely – we will be living with climate change for the rest of the foreseeable future. We’ve rounded up 7 stories that show not only that climate change is here, but that it isn’t going away anytime soon.

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1. The curious cold spot that has scientists thinking their worst fears have come true:

It reads like something out of a bad action movie: while temperatures climb around the globe, a single, ominous cold spot in the middle of the ocean has scientists more than a little freaked out. Problem is, it’s really happening. Last year, scientists at the NOAA discovered that a spot in the ocean just below Iceland and Greenland has registered temperatures colder than any time in recorded history. This cold spot suggests that water current circulation is slowing, which could mean rising sea levels and an altered climate for Europe and North America.

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2. CO2 levels are likely to stay above dangerous 400ppm for the rest of our lives

Scientists believe that CO2 concentrations of 450ppm are the turning point for climate change. If we stay below that number, we can probably keep global warming below the alarming 2-degree increase we are trying to avoid. But even if we manage to dodge the 450ppm bullet, researchers believe we are unlikely to get below 400ppm in our lifetimes. Even worse, if the trends continue as they are right now, we could hit 450ppm in just two decades.

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3. We’ve already lost five Pacific Islands to climate change

We talk about climate change impacts as something that will occur in the future, but we are already seeing the devastating results today. Case in point: five islands in the Pacific ocean have disappeared beneath the waves. Over 560,000 people live on the Solomon Islands and these inhabitants are facing increased threat from the rising oceans, while five vegetated islands have vanished since the mid-1900s.

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4. Melting glaciers may be slowing down the Earth’s rotation

Speaking of rising sea levels, earlier this year, scientists discovered some startling news: changing sea levels may actually be slowing down the Earth’s rotation. As the cold waters from the melting glaciers move towards the equator, it slows down the speed at which the mantle rotates. Meanwhile, the core has been speeding up. Think of an ice skater who opens her arms to slow her spin and you get the idea.

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5. Alaska is so warm in the spring that the Iditarod race has been forced to truck in snow

Global warming isn’t just impacting coastal cities or tropical islands. In Alaska, the 1,000-mile long Iditarod has had a rocky few years thanks to unusually warm winters and springs. This year, the Iditarod didn’t have enough snow cover to run sleds over the first 11 miles of the race. While it might not seem like a big deal if we can’t continue to participate in luxuries like winter sporting events, imagine the same impact on native populations and animals who rely on the existing environment for their livelihoods.

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6. Grizzly polar bear hybrids are appearing in the warming Arctic

Recently, scientists have noticed that grizzly bears and polar bears have been interbreeding as the Arctic continues to warm. Climate change has been altering the environment of the two species, bears have been forced to adapt. Sadly, the ones who aren’t so lucky have succumbed to starvation.

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7. The current rate of climate change is completely unprecendented

Despite what the naysayers may have you believe, the current rate of climate change is no cyclical event. Researchers have determined that what we are experiencing is without historic precedent. Even if you look at a climate event 120 million years ago when a massive period of volcanic activity altered global CO2 levels, the current rate of change is still far quicker. But it seems like folly to go down without a fight.

2015 turned out to be another record year for climate change

The latest state of the global climate report reveals 2015 was a record-breaking year, following on from 2014, which recorded the previous highest average global surface temperature.

In 2015 – the warmest year on record for the second year in a row – the Earth’s surface reached more than 1°C above pre-industrial levels for the first time since records began and the levels of dominant greenhouse gases again reached new high levels.

Kate Willett – a senior scientist with the Met Office, specialising in climate monitoring – leads the Global Climate chapter of the report published in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society (BAMS). She said: “Looking at a range of climate measurements, 2015 was yet another a highly significant year. Not only was 2015 the warmest year on record by a large margin, it was also another year when the levels of dominant greenhouse gases reached new peaks. Measurements from a series of monitored glaciers showed continuing retreat for the 36th consecutive year, and sea levels and ocean heat content were all at their highest levels.”

The most prominent climate feature of 2015 was the development of an strong El Niño event – the development of a warm pool across the east-central Tropical Pacific Ocean – which helped raise global average surface temperatures in 2015 and CO2 levels. One of the most significant impacts of 2015 was the changes to the world’s water, or hydrological cycle brought by the strong El Niño. Kate Willett added: “Drier-than-average conditions were common, with below average soil moisture and groundwater storage contributing to intense and widespread fires across Indonesia. Globally there was a 75% increase in the extent of land experiencing severe drought, bringing hardship to many communities.”

BAMS report 2015

State of the Climate in 2015

The State of the Global Climate report is compiled by more than 460 authors – from 62 countries – including significant contributions from the Met Office, which leads the report’s Global Climate chapter. The report is led by NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information.

Commenting on the report, Thomas R. Karl, L.H.D., Director, NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information, said: “This ‘annual physical’ of Earth’s climate system showed us that 2015’s climate was shaped both by long-term change and an El Niño event. When we think about being climate resilient, both of these time scales are important to consider. Last year’s El Niño was a clear reminder of how short-term events can amplify the relative influence and impacts stemming from longer-term global warming trends.”

“The State of the Climate report continues to be critically important as it documents our changing climate. American Meteorological Society (AMS) is proud to work with so many from the science community to make this publication happen,” said Keith Seitter, Executive Director of the AMS.

The State of the Climate in 2015 is the 26th edition in a peer-reviewed series published annually as a special supplement to the BAMS. The journal makes the full report openly available online.