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Hottest and driest summer ever (August 22)

The summer of 2022 has been the hottest and driest in Europe for more than 200 years. Temperatures above 40 C have been reached in many countries and in some parts more than 45 C has been recorded. For example in the UK, a temperature in excess of 40C was measured for the first time ever on July 19.
Many regions have received less than half their average rainfall and by mid July, drought conditions were present in some 45% of the EU. The drought was so severe that water restrictions were required particularly in the south of Europe like Spain, France and Italy, but now also in the UK. This combination of great heat and little rainfall will affect not only the growth of trees, but also of our main food crops such as wheat and maize. This will result in smaller harvests and higher food prices.

Climate change

Such extremes in climate are almost certainly due to human induced climate change. While climate models have predicted greater extremes in weather, few predicted that such extremes would occur so soon or be so extreme.
The UN Secretary-General, Antonio Guterres, observed that ‘of all the crises affecting the world, such as convergence between developed and developing countries, the climate crisis was the worst’. He added ‘We need to do everything we can to focus on climate action. Its more than the planet, it is the human species that is at risk’.
However emissions of greenhouse gases due to the combustion of fossil fuels is still increasing. Yet to remain within the 1.5 C increase in average global temperature agreed at the COP 26 Conference in Glasgow in November 2021, we will need to decrease our emissions of greenhouse gases by 45% by 2030.

So actions are required now if we wish to limit climate change

Rising cost of energy
There are various factors which are resulting in the rising cost of energy derived from fossil fuels of which the war in Ukraine is but one such factor. Such increasing costs are likely to result in further development and installation of renewable energy sources like photo-voltaic modules which convert sunlight into electricity, wind energy derived from wind turbines and concentrating geothermal heat using heat pumps. Such an increased demand could result in lower production costs and so will accelerate the change from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources and help to limit emissions of greenhouse gases.



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