OPINION - Talking Point: Will you stay in London if 40C summers become the norm?

·1-min read
London has experienced an unprecedented heatwave  (REUTERS)
London has experienced an unprecedented heatwave (REUTERS)

We’ve become the first people since records began to experience a 40C day in London. And it’s possible that people alive today will see such temperatures return every three to four years.

That’s according to a 2020 study by the Met Office Hadley Centre, which suggested this outcome being reached in the UK by 2100 if emissions remain high.

The same study found 40C days would be reduced to around every 15 years under a medium-emissions scenario.

Climate attribution scientist at the Met Office, Dr Nikos Christidis, said: “In a recent study we found that the likelihood of extremely hot days in the UK has been increasing and will continue to do so during the course of the century, with the most extreme temperatures expected to be observed in the southeast of England.”

The past two days hardly painted a picture of a city that’s ready for the extreme heat. From transport chaos to truly terrible fires breaking out and destroying homes, you’d be forgiven for deeming the prospect of going through this again (and again) pretty scary.

Clearly, not everyone was deterred by the heatwave and went out regardless. Some even welcomed the British summer weather offering uncharacteristic rays.

But it’s quite a different prospect for extreme temperatures to be a novel one-off, and something we end up accustomed to.

Will you stay in London if 40C summers become the norm? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below for the chance to be featured on the ES website.

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