Heatwave ‘could continue for another four years’, scientists warn

Rob Waugh
Would you want four more years (Getty)
Would you want four more years (Getty)

Britain should brace itself for more sweltering heatwaves over the next few years as scientists predict abnormally high temperatures until 2022.

Research which accurately predicted this summer’s heatwave suggests that a likelihood of ‘extreme warm events’ will continue for another four years.

The researchers used a ‘probabilistic forecast’ based on previous changes in a system to predict the chances of transitions to new states in the future.


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Used retrospectively, the method predicted the global warming pause between 1998 and 2013.

The researchers led by Dr Florian Sevellec, from the University of Brest in France, wrote: ‘For 2018-2022, the probabilistic forecast indicates a warmer than normal period, with respect to the forced trend (of global warming).

‘This will temporarily reinforce the long-term global warming trend.

‘The coming warm period is associated with an increased likelihood of intense to extreme temperatures.’

The Met Office has warned that summer temperatures could regularly hit 38.5C by the 2040s – and experts say that brutal heatwaves will become more regular.

The Environmental Audit Committee warns that there could be 7,000 heat related deaths annually by the year 2050.

Scientists are wary of attributing single weather events to climate change – but climate change makes extreme weather events more likely.

In the past 30 years, Earth’s annual temperature has risen 0.54 degrees Celsius according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.