A photo of Big Ben in London with the sun rising over the Thames.

“... we are now a hot country.”

Bob Ward, policy director at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change, on the UK's record-breaking temperatures.

Published on

jul 19, 2022

  • Why It Matters: The UK has not seen this hot of a day before in modern data collection. The country has issued a state of emergency in the last week; several deaths have already been attributed to the heat.
  • The temps hit on Tuesday afternoon were as high as 40.2 degrees Celsius (approx. 104.3 degrees Fahrenheit) and are expected to go even higher before the end of the day.
  • Heat disrupted travel as train tracks and airport runways buckled; some schools also closed.
  • Context: Scientist disagree somewhat on the historic nature of the heat some suggesting this is the highest heat in hundreds of years, others suggesting thousands. The Washington Post takes a look at the different historical context: "Britain has some of the most extensive weather records in the world, logged via diaries, observation and instruments as far back as the Age of Enlightenment, including daily records archived since the 1770s and monthly maximums and minimums dating back to 1660s." Washington Post

UK heatwave: New UK record as temperature hits 39.1C - with 41C expected this afternoon


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