A study in 2018 showed that British people will spend over four months of their lives talking about the weather. It’s a great conversation filler, but in 2019 should it be confined to just small talk?
We are living in the midst of a climate emergency. According to NASA, the world’s top five warmest years on record have occurred since 2014. It’s likely 2019 will be added to this list.
- Kenya saw its highest April temperature ever on 20 April in Mandera, which hit 41.6ºC.
- Basra, Iraq, reached a record-breaking 53.9°C in July.
- On 26 February, Kew Gardens in London registered the warmest winter day in the UK on record (21.2°C).
- This year also saw the hottest July day on record in the UK with 38.1°C reached in Cambridge.
Belgium, Germany and the Netherlands have recorded their highest ever temperatures during heatwaves which have swept Europe this summer.
Meanwhile, large parts of the Arctic are on fire. Huge blazes in Greenland, Siberia and Alaska are producing plumes of smoke visible from space. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) describes these Arctic fires as unprecedented.
Wet, wet, wet
And then contrast this with another side of the changing climate: strong winds, heavy rains and flooding.
Millions of people have been displaced in India, Nepal and Bangladesh due to recent floods. Closer to home, the UK is also currently going through a hotch potch of heatwaves and heavy rains.