Jhe UK has declared a national emergency as it prepares for a heatwave after the UK’s National Severe Weather Warning Service issued its first-ever ‘red’ extreme heat warning. Much of England is expected to experience record heat of 104 degrees early next week.
UK officials are spreading the word about thermal safety practices before the surge hits on Monday and Tuesday, such as maintaining hydration, staying cool indoors, staying out of the sun and closely following advisories meteorological. Environmental groups prepare to step up water conservation campaigns in response to rising water use and droughts in the UK
“Exceptional, possibly record high temperatures are likely early next week, quite broadly in the red alert zone on Monday, and concentrated a little further east and north on Tuesday,” the report said. chief meteorologist, Paul Gundersen, in a statement. “Nights are also likely to be unusually warm, particularly in urban areas. This will likely lead to widespread impacts on people and infrastructure. Therefore, it is important for people to plan for the heat and consider changing their routines. This level of heat can have adverse health effects.
The Met Office defines a red heat wave as “so severe and/or prolonged that its effects extend outside the health and social care system. At this level illness and death can occur among those fit and healthy, and not just in high-risk groups.
The colored warning system starts with the color green, which signals a state of minimum vigilance during the summer, yellow, the state of alert and preparedness for potential heat waves, orange, once the scorching temperatures have been reached and are expected to continue then red, a national emergency. An amber warning had already been in place from July 17-19 before being upgraded to red.
The heat is expected to return to closer to normal levels in the UK by July 20, when a cold front passes through the country, however scientists and conservationists fear the heat may not be gone for long.
The UK heatwave comes as searing heat sweeps across Europe and wildfires scorch large swathes of Portugal, Spain, Croatia and France. Officials have reported that more than 1,000 people have had to evacuate these areas, thousands of hectares have burned and the risk of drought is high.
“Climate change has already influenced the likelihood of extreme temperatures in the UK. The chances of seeing 40C days in the UK could be up to 10 times more likely in the current climate than in a natural climate not affected by human influence,” Dr. Nikos Christidis, a climate attribution scientist at the Met Office, said in a report.
The European Union has issued a statement saying climate change is to blame for rising temperatures and dangerous heat, after nine hikers died in Marmolada, Italy, following a glacier collapse . The Union is worried about new natural disasters and extreme heat all summer.
“Statistics show that since 2017 we have had the most intense forest fires ever seen in Europe. And that we unfortunately expect the 2022 forest fire season to follow this trend,” EU Commissioner Maroš Šefčovič told lawmakers. “The tragic event in Marmolada is just the latest example of disasters linked to warming temperatures and therefore climate change.”
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