England was not built for heat

Monday in Wales has been recorded For the first time, the maximum temperature was 37.1°C, due to a severe heat wave in Europe that also affected the United Kingdom for a few days. In the country, many businesses have closed, rail links have been cut, and the government has invited those who can work from home to avoid further inconvenience in commuting.

Accustomed to generally mild summers, especially when compared to southern Europe, the UK is struggling more than other countries to cope with the current heat wave, even in the presence of lower maximum temperatures than on record. Many parts of the continent including Italy.

The British Meteorological Office has issued a ‘”Red alert” earlier this week, for the first time in the nation’s history. In London, the maximum temperature was recorded at 37.5°C, and in the south it reached 38°C. The highest temperature ever recorded in England was 38.7°C recorded in Cambridge in July 2019, but at that time the heat wave did not affect such a large area, and after all it did not go as far north as it does now. .

Experiencing very short periods of heat, with maximum temperatures typically several degrees lower than today, the United Kingdom It is not particularly suited against heat. According to the most reliable estimates of 2021, less than 5 percent of homes are equipped with air conditioners.

Big cities aside, shops and offices in the rest of the country are often without air conditioning because the hottest days in a year are relatively few and rarely reach very high temperatures. Last week, appliance stores reported selling more coolers and fans than usual.

A woman dances in Hackney, London, July 17 (Holly Adams/Getty Images)

The concerns are mainly hospitals and nursing homes, often without air conditioning systems, where the most vulnerable patients are at risk from the heat. In many parts of the country, local school authorities have decided to close schools a few days early.

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The hot air pushed the railway managers too to reduce Running trains and reduced speed on some sections, fearing high temperatures could damage the tracks. Because of this, commuters have been advised to work from home as much as possible, reducing pressure on the few available trains.

A swimming pool in London, July 18 (AP Photo/Alberto Pezzali)

Luton, one of the nearest airports to London, had to do Suspension Operations after finding some problems on the take-off and landing runways, derived from excessive heat, for a few hours. Many flights have been diverted to other airports and airlines are facing further inconvenience due to many cancellations. Bryce Norton Air Base in Oxfordshire is the British Air Force’s largest air base to close Due to some degradation of asphalt of the road caused by heat.

A three-year-old girl on Margate Beach, England, July 16 (Holly Adams/Getty Images)

Some discomfort has been reported on some underground lines in London that do not have air conditioning. The problem continues in summer, but these days the temperature rise in some trains is significantly higher than usual. Today in the city, the maximum temperature is expected to reach 39 degrees Celsius. The heat wave is expected to ease in the second half of the week, but it will continue to affect much of Europe and move north.

London, July 18 (Carl Court/Getty Images)

In Spain on Monday, the maximum temperature was recorded at 43°C, while in the French city of Nantes it reached 42°C. good fire They infested both countries and Portugal, forcing large swathes of land to be evacuated for security reasons. It is estimated that over a thousand people have died due to the extreme heat in Spain and Portugal. Some parts of Portugal recorded 47 degrees Celsius last Thursday.

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On Monday, the hottest day of the year was recorded in the Netherlands, but today could break that record again. Over the next few days, temperatures are expected to rise in parts of northern Europe, reaching a maximum of 40°C in Belgium and the Netherlands.

The main reason is that heat waves have become more intense and frequent in recent decades Global warming, mostly caused by human activities. Changes in atmospheric dynamics have weakened high-altitude currents that struggle to move large high-pressure areas forming over Europe, becoming more stable and warmer. This results in an early onset of the hot season and low rainfall, particularly in western and central Europe, with long periods of drought.

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