Record temperatures in Europe and the US have reinforced the danger of global heating for many inhabitants. But others are and will be far worse hit
We tend to learn better from experience than from what we have simply been told. So for many in Europe, sleepless nights and suffocating buses or workplaces have helped to make real the threat posed by global heating. Now statistics are reinforcing the message. Last week the UK had the hottest day on record: 38.7C in Cambridge. New records were set in Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands in July, and June was the hottest month in US history. The Met Office says that the UK’s 10 hottest years on record have all been since 2002.
Heatwaves naturally occur in summer, but they did not used to be so hot, or so frequent. Experts say that the UK’s sweltering weather last summer was made 30 times more likely by global heating. That link has sunk in: in a new survey, 77% believed the recent heatwave was partially or wholly caused by the climate crisis. As temperatures reach unprecedented levels, so does public concern about the environment.