General Article UK Heatwave: Britain’s 40C future and why our homes, trains and schools aren’t prepared

Topic Selected: Climate Change Book Volume: 426

From moving the date of school exams to painting railway tracks white and retrofitting hospitals, the UK has its work cut out preparing for extreme heat.

By Madeleine Cuff, Environment Correspondent

Temperatures next week could hit 40°C in parts of the UK in what forecasters are warning is a ‘red alert’ heatwave that will bring serious disruption to everyday life.

Such temperatures are making headlines as an unprecedented extreme right now, but in a few years’ time they could become a ‘new normal’ for parts of the country.

‘By 2050, we will regularly have temperatures above 35°C in the south of the UK,’ predicts Chloe Brimicombe, a heat stress researcher at the University of Reading.

Heat-related deaths, which currently number about 2,000 a year in the UK, will soar, she tells i: ‘By the 2050s between 5,000 and 7,000 people will die annually from extreme heat every year.’

Britons may talk a lot about the weather, but the UK is not a country designed to withstand such extremes. Homes...

Would you like to see the rest of this article and all the other benefits that Issues Online can provide with?

Sign up now for an immediate no obligation FREE TRIAL and view the entire collection