London missed 40 degrees Celsius
The heat in Britain breaks all records
07/19/2022, 3:35 p.m
Nothing works in the UK anymore: schools and shops are closing, rail traffic is paralysed. The reason for this are extreme temperatures in many parts of the country, which overshadow everything that has been known before. And as the day progresses, it could get even hotter.
Temperatures in the UK have surpassed 40 degrees for the first time since records began. In Coningsby in the eastern English county of Lincolnshire, 40.3 degrees were measured, according to preliminary data from the Met Office weather service. 40.2 degrees Celsius were previously measured at London’s Heathrow Airport and in St. James’ Park in the government district.
In London, the fire brigade had to deal with a number of violent fires and declared a major loss situation. The emergency services spoke of “unknown challenges”. Shortly before that, a British heat record of 39.1 degrees was set in Charlwood in the English county of Surrey – but this lasted little more than an hour. Tuesday night had already turned out to be the warmest so far.
Public life was disrupted in large parts of the country at the beginning of the week: schools remained closed, and some shops and restaurants closed. Rail traffic was delayed or even canceled completely because the infrastructure is not designed for such high temperatures. As the route network operator Network Rail announced, operations on the main railway lines along the English east coast and in the Midlands have been completely discontinued.
“The climate crisis will continue to escalate”
People have been urged to change their travel plans. Disabilities had already occurred on Monday due to the heat. Among other things, several flights had to be canceled or diverted at London’s Luton Airport due to damage to the runway. School lessons were sometimes cancelled.
Before this week, the heat record for the UK was 38.7 degrees measured in Cambridge in 2019. This value had already been topped at around 30 measuring stations in the country by late Tuesday afternoon.
“This is not ‘the new normal’,” wrote Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg on Twitter, referring to the record temperatures. “The climate crisis will continue to escalate and get worse as long as we stick our heads in the sand and put profit and greed ahead of people and the planet. We’re still sleepwalking towards the abyss.” Climate change has made heat waves more common and likely.