Over the last week or so the UK has seen some unseasonably warm weather conditions. With temperatures rising to 20c in some areas, this has made Britain hotter than some holiday destinations and has been warmly welcomed by many and wildly feared by more.
One of the highest temperatures recorded was 20.8C in London. Some fires even broke out in East Sussex in the Ash Down Forest which would normally be linked with a hot dry summer not the middle of winter in February.
Dr Friedericke Otto, acting director of the Environmental Change Institute at Oxford University has been quoted as saying:
“I am very confident to say that there’s an element of climate change in these warm temperatures,” she said.
“But climate change alone is not causing it. You have to have the right weather systems too.”
Whilst warmer weather sounds like a good thing, the sad truth is that the warmer temperatures are a sign that global warming is having a growing impact. Rising levels of greenhouse gases are causing our atmosphere to become increasingly warm, damaging our planet and causing problems for our wildlife. Hedgehogs, butterflies and birds all thought spring had arrived and came out of hibernation. Migrating birds arrived early and so have butterflies. This could spell disaster for their population if colder weather follows as thy simply cannot survive freezing temperatures.
Last year in Britain it was a very different story; we had hats and sledges out when ‘the beast from the east’ hit, bringing extremely low temperatures and deep snow to most if not all areas of the UK.
Outside of the UK, this weather was also apparent, with the extreme cold and snow happening in places such as Rome and the US saw a continued atmospheric phenomenon where temperatures plunged lower that of the north pole. These countries haven’t seen this kind of weather for many years but is becoming more and more likely as the cycles of our climate become more unpredictable.
All of this is becoming increasingly obvious that the huge swings in our climate’s cycles are a stark warning to us that climate change is happening right now.
We expect that far more extremes are to come soon with colder winters, hotter summers and more ferocious storms becoming the norm rather than the exception.
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