Europe

A hot, dry Britain is about to declare a drought


LONDON — The British government was due to declare a drought in parts of England on Friday as the country endured another day of hot, dry conditions with temperatures expected to reach nearly 95 degrees Fahrenheit, or 35 degrees Celsius.

The announcement of the expected drought, widely reported by British media, would allow water companies to impose stricter conservation measures and comes after the driest July in England since 1935. Several water companies have temporarily prohibits the use of hoses for watering yards and gardens and for washing vehicles.

“Water companies have already been dealing with the unprecedented effects of the driest winter and spring since the 1970s, and with warmer and drier weather forecasts, it is crucial that we are even more careful about our water consumption. water to minimize peaks in demand and ensure there is enough to go around,” Peter Jenkins, communications director at industry body Water UK, said in a statement.

The Met Office, Britain’s national weather service, has issued an extreme heat warning until Sunday for much of the southern half of England and for parts of Wales, stressing that soaring temperatures could not only disrupt travel, but also increase the risk of heat. diseases for certain groups.

Wiggonholt in southern England recorded the highest temperature in the country Thursdays at 93.5 Fahrenheit (34.2 degrees Celsius). On Friday, we expected a dry start with a rapid rise in mercury. Temperatures could climb even higher over the weekend, meteorologists said, but they also predicted they wouldn’t be as extreme as those of July, when they first reached above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in Britain.

the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, Thursday urged residents to avoid grilling on balconies, in parks and in backyards for fear of fires starting. London firefighters said there were hundreds of fires in the capital in the first week of August, up from 42 in the same period of 2021.

Several chain stores stopped selling disposable grills during the drought period, The Guardian reported.

The heatwave that swept through Britain in July was made worse by climate change, according to a scientific report. Although it is necessary to analyze the link between a single heat wave and climate change, scientists have no doubt that heat waves around the world are becoming hotter, more frequent and longer lasting. As the burning of fossil fuels causes average global temperatures to rise, the range of possible temperatures also increases, making sizzling highs more likely. This means that every heat wave is now compounded, to some extent, by changes in planetary chemistry caused by greenhouse gas emissions.

Dan Roberts, a psychotherapist in London, said on Thursday that due to the extreme heat he was offering patients the option of having appointments via Zoom. “My office is like an oven,” he said, adding that traveling in the heat might also be too much for some. “We really struggle when the temperature gets this high,” he said.

Rising temperatures, Roberts said, can have a negative effect on a person’s emotional well-being. “What we’re seeing is when the temperatures go up, you get a big spike in things like road rage, violent crime, domestic violence, that kind of stuff,” he said. “The hotter we are, the more volatile our emotions become, especially anger. We can be quick to get angry, we can get angry, be very irritable, frustrated.

In Leeds, northern England, Ashley Moore, an economist who works from home, said he not only moved his desk around his office to avoid the sun, but also worked with fewer clothes and avoided to go in front of the camera.

Mr Moore said he plans to stay cool over the weekend by retreating to local beer gardens and staying near a canal. At home, he bought extra fans. He admitted he was still adjusting to the heat.

“It’s nice to go on a warm vacation,” he noted, but, he said, “I don’t expect it here, at this time of year, at this intensity and with this regularity. I don’t appreciate that.



nytimes Eur

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