Activists united over the urgent need to address the climate crisis before it is too late are divided over whether Cop26 should go ahead if that means online only. The already once-delayed summit, due to be held in Scotland in the autumn, may again have to be postponed for another year, according to reports. The government insists it is planning for the conference to go ahead, in person. A spokesperson said on Wednesday: “We are not looking to postpone the summit. We are working on the basis of Cop26 being held in person this November, while closely monitoring the Covid situation.” The already-overdue Cop26 talks will be a key moment in getting the world on track for limiting global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels by the end of the century, which is the aspirational target of the Paris Agreement.
Independent 2nd April 2021 read more »
“Hello, it’s Friday 22 July 2050, and it’s been another extremely hot day across the UK. Widely, today’s temperatures exceeded 36°C, with temperatures from Southampton to Birmingham exceeding 40°C, and a high of 43°C in Worcester. This follows nine days of temperatures exceeding 30°C in Scotland, and 34°C across England and Wales.” This may be a fictional report, but it is based on real science: the forecast was drawn up by the Met Office of what a summer heatwave in 2050 UK could look like if carbon emissions continue unabated, using data from some of the world’s most advanced climate models. By 2050, Met Office scientists think the climate could have warmed by 1.7°C under a high emissions scenario, and by 1.3°C if action is taken to reduce emissions. Both are perilously close to what scientists warn is a “safe” threshold of climate change. And they agree that dramatic changes are in store for the UK’s weather patterns in either scenario. The headline from the Met Office is that the UK is likely to experience more hot, dry summers and warmer, wetter winters. Temperatures will, of course, vary across the UK, with peak summer temperatures in Bristol potentially hitting 36°C by the 2050s, while in Glasgow the hottest summer days are set to be a cooler 31.6°C. And although summers will be much drier than they are today, putting more stress on already parched regions such as the South East, when the rain comes, it will be torrential. “We are expecting drier summers, but when it does rain it will be more intense, with heavier downpours,” says Bernie. These tropical-style downpours – often caused by a thunderstorm – will bring with them an increased risk of flash flooding, particularly if urban drains are overwhelmed. When winter rolls around, it probably won’t mean cold and frosty mornings. More likely will be bucketloads of rain. 3 October last year was officially the wettest day ever recorded in the UK, but climate change could make such downpours 10 times more likely by the end of the century. Rainier winters mean a higher risk of flooding from overflowing rivers, saturated ground, overwhelmed drains and battered coastlines. Research from financial data provider MSCI suggests the number of households in Britain at risk of flooding will more than double by 2050 to almost two million.
iNews 2nd April 2021 read more »