UK weather records broken as climate change impacts gather pace
As the flood warnings of February have given way to the driest May on record in England, climate change is a crisis that has not meekly abated, and still needs government action.
Friends of the Earth's nature campaigner, Guy Shrubsole, said:
“February feels like a distant memory for many reasons but it was the wettest one on record. The Environment Agency in England had almost 600 active flood warnings, a number that’s never been that high. Then May saw cracked and parched ground, crops wilting and rivers looking for all the world like they are in severe drought.
“There was only 4mm of rain in the entire south east England for the month. It’s not good enough to just try and enjoy the dry weather when it’s actively harming crops and records are being broken with alarming frequency. Climate breakdown fuelled by carbon emissions can only mean more extreme swings, making us go from floods and droughts in a few months, with all of the misery that both cause.
“As lockdown lightens decision-makers need to see both crises, climate and virus, as having the same solution: invest in a green and fair recovery.”
Some of 2020's record-breaking weather events include:
- This May was the driest on record since 1896 in England, with less than 10mm of rainfall on average.
- This spring has been the sunniest since records began in 1929, beating the previous record of 555 hours.
- February 2020 was the wettest February in the UK, while the winter as a whole was the fifth wettest since records began in 1862.
- This winter the Environment Agency in England issued the most active flood warnings at one time.