Saturday, 3 November 2018

Our climate really IS getting stormier

Rainstorms really are getting worse. Examining how the UK's weather has changed, the Met Office concluded that heavy downpours were 17% more common in the decade from 2008 to 2017 than they had been between 1961 and 1990.

It also says that our climate is warming up, with hot spells lasting twice as long as they did between 1961 and 1990, and our hottest days nearly a degree warmer than they used to be, while our coldest days are more than a degree and a half milder than between 1961 and 1990. And the number of 'tropical nights' when the temperature never gets below 20 degC (68F) is going up too.

A stormier climate is precisely what scientists have been saying global warming would cause, and the United Nations is now calling for 'unprecedented' action across the world to slash carbon emissions to zero by 2050, and stop the temperature rising more than 1.5 degC above pre-industrial levels.

For more on how climate change affects storms, as well as the history of storms, the role they have played in religion, art, films and literature, plus the methods people have used to try to tame them, see my book Storm: Nature and Culture (Reaktion).

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