The summer of 2018 will be one Brits, (particularly the English) will remember for many years. Temperatures that could have passed for the Mediterranean, beer gardens any day of the week became the norm and football nearly came home. The nation had never been happier. The UK heatwave of 2018 was one to remember.
Temperatures in the UK consistently hit 30C (68F) or above and it officially became the hottest summer on record, narrowly beating the summer of 1976. I already hear what some of you are about to say… This happened over 40 years ago, why is 2018 any different? Well it is one of many hot summers in recent times. 1976 was a one off, 2018 was peak of a steady rise. This summer was hotter than the drought of 2003 and beat the hottest month ever recorded in 2006.
You don’t need to look at this in depth to see temperatures rising in the summer months and fluctuating heavily in the winter months.
10 years apart:
This was the UK looked like in July 2008 vs July 2018:
Above are graphs of temperature anomalies during July of those years. You can view more maps of every year of every month on the MET Office website in case you think this is a bias view.
What was the hottest day of the year in 2018?
This record was set in Faversham, Kent on July 26, a scorching 35.3C was recorded. At times of the summer this year the UK was hotter than traditional holiday resorts like Spain and Greece. I know I personally had sunburn just sitting outside during work and started taking sun cream in my bag. It was a glorious summer and felt criminal to be at work or indoors but was it all highs and no lows?
Effects of the 2018 summer heatwave.
As I said I loved this summer as much as the next person but other things did stand out to me as well. I saw this everywhere I went:
This is Aylesbury UK, the grass was dead, there was very little life to see and this was seen up and down the country. Bees suffered from flowers dying, caterpillars had little food and animals like badgers couldn’t dig for worms as the grass hardened. Our dogs also burned their paws just got for a walk from the blistering heat of our paths. Equally farmers suffered too as it meant crops were harder to grow and animals more expensive to feed and keep hydrated. Of course we all got the typical message during hot weather of conserving water, we just had to wait for rain.
It’s the middle of November and temperature is still hitting the middle teens, the sky is clear and I haven’t considered wearing any more than a hoodie when leaving the house. I love not heating my car up and waiting 10 minutes or more to clear the frost in the morning before work, but I am more than concerned. Our planet is changing before our very eyes.
Not only is it in our power to change but it is our duty. The sceptics will argue the planet goes through extreme weather cycles but the evidence is undeniable, and has been for some time… This is human inflicted change. Turn off your lights, your car engine when your parked, walk short distances and act now to reduce your carbon footprint. Make One Change Now to protect our planet for this generation and many to come.