The possibility is growing that Britain in 2007 may experience a summer of unheard-of high temperatures, with the thermometer even reaching 40C, or 104F, a level never recorded in history.
The likelihood of such a "forty degree summer" is being underlined by the tumbling over the past year of a whole series of British temperature records, strongly suggesting that the British Isles have begun to experience a period of rapid, not to say alarming, warming. This would be quite outside all historical experience, but entirely consistent with predictions of climate change.
The Met Office's Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research, in a joint forecast with the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, has already suggested that 2007 will be the hottest year ever recorded globally.
Spring 2007 (defined as March, April and May) will probably be Britain's hottest spring. It has followed the second-warmest winter in the UK record (December, January and February) and the warmest-ever autumn (September, October and November 2006).
Before that, we had Britain's hottest-ever month (July last year), which included the hottest-ever July day (19 July, when the temperature at Wisley, Surrey, reached 36.5C, or 97.7F, beating a record that had lasted since 1911).
To crown it all, yesterday the Met Office announced that the past 12 months, taken together, have been the hottest 12 months ever to have occurred in Britain, with a provisional mean temperature of 10.4C. The previous record (March 1997 to April 1998) was 9.7C.
Saturday, April 28, 2007
It's getting hotter and hotter
It's been a very cool spring so far in Tulsa, Oklahoma (and who knows the reasons for that?) but not so in other parts of the world. I want to call your attention to an article in The Independent called "Overheating Britain: April temperatures break all records" . Take a look:
I visited some friends in the north of England two years ago during late June, I think, and they were having a heat wave. I had never before in my life been hot in Britain. But I was for this visit. Very distressing.