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Hot summer linked to climate change

CLIMATE change caused by human activities made this summer’s record breaking heatwave 30 times more likely than under “natural” conditions, the Met Office will announce today.

Temperatures reached a peak on July 27 when 35.6°C was recorded at Felsham, Suffolk.

Britain now has a 12 per cent chance of summer average temperatures being as high as they were in 2018, whereas normally they would have less than a 0.5 per cent chance, the Met Office told the United Nations climate talks in Poland.

The study follows last week’s climate projections that by the middle of the century, there will be a 50 per cent chance of summers matching this year’s heatwave, making the conditions the norm.

Crops and livestock, water supplies, transport networks, people’s health and the natural environment were all hit by the soaring temperatures, and led to numerous wildfires.

Met Office Professor Peter Stott said the rise resulted from the increase in concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

Greenpeace UK executive director John Sauven said the link between climate change and extreme weather is getting stronger.

“It used to be a fingerprint, it now looks more like a smoking gun,” he said. “If we stay on the current course, we know the kind of world we’re heading towards: more floods, heatwaves, droughts, and rising sea levels.”

He said the window of opportunity to avoid dangerous climate change was “still open, but only just,” and called on political leaders to take actions like replacing fossil fuels with renewables, cutting emissions from homes and cars, and halting destruction of the rainforests.

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