This week, with temperatures expected to reach up to 41C, the UK may see its warmest day on record (106F).
After a morning of quickly rising temperatures, it was 34.8C at 12:00 BST in Charlwood, Surrey, making today the warmest day of the year thus far.
In most of England, ranging from London and the South East up to York and Manchester, the Met Office has issued a red extreme heat warning for Monday and Tuesday.
In Cambridge in 2019, the country’s highest temperature at the moment is 38.7C.
London and Suffolk have experienced temperatures above 34C, and the remainder of England, all of Wales, and portions of Scotland are under amber weather warnings.
On Monday, the capital is expected to see temperatures that surpass those of the Western Sahara and the Caribbean, making it one of the hottest places on earth.
The hot weather will persist on Tuesday, with overnight lows in the mid-20s being forecast, before falling off on Wednesday.
Since the system’s introduction last year, the Met Office has never issued a red alert.
It denotes that “significant adjustments in working practices and daily routines” are necessary and that “widespread repercussions on people and infrastructure” are anticipated.
Despite government guidelines aimed at keeping them open, several schools intend to close early or not open at all.
On Monday and Tuesday, Network Rail advised against traveling unless it was “absolutely necessary,” as some cancellations had already been made and there were speed limits in place all throughout the network.
For the most of Tuesday, LNER will not operate trains between London and Leeds and York.
Although measures are being taken to lessen the effects of the excessive heat, according to Network Rail’s Jake Kelly, the heat will put the infrastructure for the railroads under “extraordinary stress.”
According to statistics from satellite navigation company Tom Tom, traffic congestion decreased by up to 10% in London, Birmingham, Bristol, and Glasgow on Monday morning compared to the same time last week.
Simon King from BBC Weather said the expected temperatures are much hotter, up to 10C above the extended heatwave and severe drought experienced in 1976, in response to claims that the UK has experienced worse heat.
Because these temperatures are so high, it is where the real health effects are felt.
The UK Health Security Agency has issued a level four warning for England in addition to the Met Office’s red and amber alerts, which the administration is treating as a “national emergency.”
Health Secretary Steve Barclay announced that the number of call handlers and the capacity of ambulances would both rise during a special Cobra meeting for ministers on Saturday.
However, the NHS is also under pressure due to the effects of excessive heat on its infrastructure, which one top executive called “very antiquated.”
According to NHS provider Miriam Deakin, some operating rooms are having to close because they are unable to maintain the necessary temperatures, which also affects IT servers.
Authorities in western France have issued a “heat apocalypse” warning for 15 districts as a result of the destructive effects that rising temperatures are having on much of Europe and North Africa.
Over 1,000 deaths have been linked to the heat in Portugal and Spain in recent days, where hundreds have been evacuated due to flames that have been raging from Greece to Morocco.
The heatwave is occurring at a time when global average temperatures have increased by little over 1C since pre-industrial times.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the UN’s climate research body, we are currently experiencing the warmest era in 125,000 years (IPCC).
This is a result of greenhouse gas emissions brought on by the combustion of fossil fuels like coal and gas, which we are aware of. According to the IPCC, atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations are growing and are at their highest point in two million years.
We can expect temperatures to rise by 2.4C by the end of the century if all the commitments made by states at the UN COP26 climate conference in Glasgow last year are carried out.
The bad news is that CO2 emissions are still rising. Without significant reductions, temperatures may increase considerably further by 2030. By the end of the century, scientists expect a rise of up to 4C.
Why does that matter? I believe you are aware of the response. This kind of extreme heatwave will happen more frequently.
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