As Europe endures record-breaking high temperatures this week, conversations concerning climate change have reached boiling point.
The UK National Weather Office has blamed global warming for the current scorching heatwave, which reached peak temperatures today (July 25).
‘Climate change has increased the likelihood and severity of heatwave episodes across Europe,’ they said to BBC Online, earlier this week.
The comments follow a 2018 Met Office study that ‘found that the UK was now 30 times more likely to experience heatwaves…’ because of ‘the higher concentration’ of greenhouse gas emissions.
Both Northern France and Belgium issued a ‘red alert’ and ‘code red’ warnings after its temperatures soared. Paris reached ‘probably’ its hottest temperature recorded after it tipped a sweltering 40.5°C, while Germany also saw record-breaking heat at 41.5°C.
Similar temperatures have been recorded in the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
‘The UK recorded a record temperature for July of 36.9°C and trains were ordered to run more slowly to stop rail tracks buckling in the heat,’ reports BBC Online.
The escalating heat is taking its toll, impacting transportation systems in cities such as Paris and London. According to BBC Online, lakes and rivers have ‘dried up’ in parts of northern Germany – with warnings that ‘fish and mussels could be severely threatened’.
With the hot weather, many have wondered whether man-made climate change – the increase in global average temperatures due to fossil gas emissions – is to blame.
Dr Peter Scott, from the Met Office, says the heatwave is a result of ‘both weather and climate action in concert’.
In an interview with BBC 5 Live, Scott said:
What we have at the moment is this very warm stream of air, coming up from northern Africa, bringing with it unusually warm weather.
But without climate change we wouldn’t have hit the peaks that we’re hitting right now.
Rising temperatures have become a matter of global crisis.
The UK parliament declared climate change and environment an emergency in May this year.
Still, there have been well-known sceptics, including President Donald Trump, who have doubted that climate change is something to worry about, sparking widespread protests and environmental awareness campaigns.
Yet, in a new report by BBC Online, scientists say new research ‘shows many of the arguments used by climate sceptics are no longer valid.’
BBC Online examined recent research by Nature, International Journal Of Science, which suggests ‘that the current warming rate is higher than any observed previously’.
The detailed study, which surveyed 700 records of global climate change over 2000 years, concludes that generally peaks and troughs in temperatures ‘could be detected in no more than half the globe at any one time’.
Today’s warming, by contrast, impacts the vast majority of the world, according to the study.
The BBC spoke to Professor Mark Maslin, from the University of London, who spoke highly of the study.
The professor said:
This paper should finally stop climate change deniers claiming that the recent observed coherent global warming is part of a natural climate cycle.
This paper shows the truly stark difference between regional and localised changes in climate of the past and the truly global effect of anthropogenic greenhouse emissions.
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L’Oréal Blackett is a freelance journalist, broadcaster, and presenter with a lot of hair and a lot to say. A former digital magazine editor covering women’s issues and local news, she now works for a range of media publications including BBC Radio Manchester, Bumble and of course, UNILAD.