Back to it (and it’s hot back home)

After a couple of really awful days, today has been… less awful. I still have no voice, and am subject to painful coughing fits, but things are slowly improving. I have more hope for tomorrow.

Back in the UK, all the news (apart from all the other news) has been about the record-breaking temperatures. It looked like Sheffield – SHEFFIELD! – might even get up towards 40C today. That’s quite literally unheard of. Clearly, something is up. And yet, the climate change deniers (you may recognise them from being anti-vax/pro-Trump/pro-Russian invasion of Ukraine on any given day of any week) have stuck their oar in again with the old:

Lol. So this is “climate change”, is it?
We used to call it “summer”.

Oh yes. I remember the summers of my youth in Sheffield, where it regularly got up to 40C and the trams had to stop running because the overhead lines were being damaged by the heat. That happened every summer. And you couldn’t escape it, because – just like Brize Norton and Luton yesterday – the runways at the airports had all melted. That’s a typical UK summer, alright! Just what we’re known for. When someone says “English summer”, it’s always melty runways and over-stretched power lines that spring immediately to mind, amirite?

Even Ireland joined the party, recording it’s hottest day in over 100 years yesterday, and then it’s hottest day in 24 hours, today.

Temperature records have been kept in Sheffield since 1882, and while a couple of hot days as a standalone can’t be used as evidence that things are heating up generally, it’s interesting to note that the record temperature has been broken today (39.4C still TBC), yesterday (36.1C) and then in 2019 (35.1C). Before that day (25th July) in 2019, the previous highest temperature was 34.3C (1990).

Now, I recognise that these records can obviously only go up, but it’s more the speed at which they are going up which is the interesting/scary part.

Here’s a graph from 2019 which shows the gradual increase in mean temperatures in Sheffield:

…together with the maximum and minimums for each year. And those are all trending upwards.
We’ve now just seen that maximum increase by more than 5 degrees in less than 3 years. I’ve added today’s new record in as a red dot, so you can see just how much of an increase it really is. Incredible.

The climate deniers – being experts, like they are in Eurasian geopolitics (last month), vaccine development (last year) and supporting the fat orange man (since 2016) – will tell you that these things aren’t significant, but there’s actually only so many times you can dismiss these increasingly occurring events as “not significant”, before you have to come to see that in sheer numbers alone, they actually are very significant.

But this is just another wake-up call to ignore.

A note: I still don’t think that the media helps the understanding and gravitas of the situation by publishing “scare stories” and hyperbole about climate change. It belittles the situation and provides plenty of ammunition to those who want us to ignore what’s going on. So please stop doing that. [laughs]