It's Furnace Friday & The Science Behind This Summer Is Actually Intense AF
You're sitting melting slowly into whatever surface you are sitting on, aren't you? It's one of those summers where you're so sweaty at all times and that makes you kind of miss winter and all that horrific snow. OK maybe not, but it really is sweltering out there. Is this the hottest summer on record? Certainly feels like it anyhow.
British people are notorious for complaining about the weather, with the British Isles being infamously wet, windy, and chilly. So moaning about the forecast is actually low key a cultural experience as a UK resident. But real talk, what we are not used to is complaining about hot weather. As temperatures soar and seem to be continuing to do so, this is one hot summer that doesn't seem to be stopping any time soon.
The usual joke among the acerbic Brits after any kind of nice weather is "well, that's summer finished then." But with no sign of this heat decreasing whatsoever, this little witticism is dead in the water. Dead as you feel as you basically swim through the insanely humid still air in cities around the UK. This is definitely the hottest summer I can remember, but is it actually the hottest ever?
It is so hot that even the Met Office is having to warn people to be careful in the sunshine and as there has been pretty much zero rain fall, a hose pipe ban is in force in the north east, the BBC reports. Today is also being touted as "Furnace Friday", with The Guardian reporting that it might be the hottest day on record. Devastating for the green thumbed of this world, who are watching their beautiful lawns go from lush green to what looks like an upturned packet of old tobacco. Of course we are not the only ones feeling the heat with our European neighbours suffering as well, recent devastating forest fires in Greece tragically killing over 80 people.
Is this the hottest summer the UK has ever had though? Well, it might seem like it but actually, it's not. The average daily temperature has been 20.9 degrees, The Independent reports, which is of course exceptionally hot for the UK. However, way back when in 1976 it was an absolute sizzler with temperatures hitting an average of 21 degrees during June, July, and August. Seriously though, that is only .1 degrees less and we still have a month to go. The newspaper reports that the Met Office said that if things go the way they have been going, this is likely to be one of the top five hottest summers on record. Flipping heck, better stock up on your factor 50 suncream then.
But what in the name of gerd is causing this? Is this climate change right in front of our eyes? Well, as CNN reports, this is very much a global thing, noting that Japan has experienced a record highest ever temperature, with North and South Korea following suit. There's similar issues in Scandinavia, too. According to The Independent, hot weather and heat waves are completely normal. However, Grahame Madge, speaking on behalf of the Met Office added:
“What we can say is that with a background of climate change, we know that the planet has warmed by around 1C since pre-industrial times, and we know that if you add that heat to the system it is very likely heatwaves will be more extreme.”
The newspaper also spoke to a climate change scientist, University of Sheffield's Professor Len Shaffrey. He said: "Global temperatures are increasing due to climate change. The global rise in temperatures means the probability that an extreme heatwave will occur is also increasing."
It's fair to say that a lot of us are sort of freaking out in this hot weather but let's be honest, complaining about the weather is as British as crumpets with butter, hot tea, or flat beer. So, we might as well enjoy it (responsibly) while it lasts because, in the words made famous by Game Of Thrones — winter is coming.