July's Bonkers Weather Has A Story To Tell About Climate Change

From fierce heat to flooding, the highs and lows of the past few weeks send a message to us all.

*Closes window to write*

Chances are, depending on when you read this, it’s either high winds and violent rain outside your door or blue skies and a pleasant summer’s day.

There is no in between. Such is the consequence of global warming.

The recent week of disruptive weather has been testament to the serious ramifications of climate change. We’ve seen warm sunshine, thunder, torrential rain and flooding, all in the space of days and even hours.

The past year will be known for many things, not least a global pandemic, but also for highs and lows on the weather front – 2020 was the fifth wettest, third warmest and eighth sunniest on record, according to the UK State of the Climate report.

No other year sits in the top 10 for all three criteria. The climate scientists behind the report have found that in three decades, the UK has become 0.9°C (or 6%) warmer.

Spring 2020 was the UK’s sunniest weather on record, while the August heatwave caused 2,556 excess deaths in England, as well as significant disruption across the UK, warns a separate report from The British Red Cross.

Our winters have not been wintering as much lately either – 2020 was among the least snowy winters on record, with most of it upland, in northern areas.

In 2021 and beyond, scientists expect more flooding, heatwaves, droughts, storms and extreme weather in other forms.

But even the experts are surprised by how quickly we’re seeing the effects. So for anyone who thinks climate change is a distant problem, think again.

We saw plenty of sunshine during the Euros tournament at the beginning of July.
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We saw plenty of sunshine during the Euros tournament at the beginning of July.
Staff work on a waterlogged pitch before a cricket game at Sir Tom Finney Stadium in Blackburn on July 10
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Staff work on a waterlogged pitch before a cricket game at Sir Tom Finney Stadium in Blackburn on July 10
A cyclist rides over Hammersmith Bridge on July 17. The bridge was closed last year after cracks in the bridge worsened during a heatwave
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A cyclist rides over Hammersmith Bridge on July 17. The bridge was closed last year after cracks in the bridge worsened during a heatwave
People by the beach at Saltburn-by-the-Sea in North Yorkshire on July 22.
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People by the beach at Saltburn-by-the-Sea in North Yorkshire on July 22.
A man sunbathing in St James's Park, London on the hottest day of the year so far.
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A man sunbathing in St James's Park, London on the hottest day of the year so far.
Greater Manchester is bombarded by rain and thunderstorms in late July after a two-week heatwave
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Greater Manchester is bombarded by rain and thunderstorms in late July after a two-week heatwave
A car drives through deep water on a flooded road in Nine Elms, London on July 25 during heavy rain
JUSTIN TALLIS via Getty Images
A car drives through deep water on a flooded road in Nine Elms, London on July 25 during heavy rain
London saw some of the worst flooding, with public transport heavily affected
JUSTIN TALLIS via Getty Images
London saw some of the worst flooding, with public transport heavily affected
A man walks through water in Horse Guards Road on July 25
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A man walks through water in Horse Guards Road on July 25
The full moon rises behind Edinburgh Castle. Otherwise known as Thunder Moon, the July full moon is synonymous with summer storms
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The full moon rises behind Edinburgh Castle. Otherwise known as Thunder Moon, the July full moon is synonymous with summer storms