(CNN) – Two years ago, meteorologists in the UK ran an interesting thought experiment: What will our forecasts look like in 2050?
The climate crisis is pushing the weather to extremes worldwide, and temperatures in northern latitudes have been particularly sensitive to these changes. So, meteorologists at the Met Office, the UK’s official weather forecasting agency, delved into very long-range climate models in the summer of 2020 to see what kind of temperatures can be expected in about three decades.
“Not an actual weather forecast,” the Met Office charts said. “They are examples of reasonable weather based on climate forecasts.”
Well, on Monday and Tuesday, “reasonable” will become reality… 28 years ago.
Simon Lee, an atmospheric scientist at Columbia University in New York, noted the striking similarity between forecasts for 2050 and forecasts early next week in the UK.
“Today, the forecast for Tuesday is surprisingly nearly identical in large parts of the country,” Simon tweeted, “What’s coming on Tuesday gives a glimpse into the future,” he added in a later post.
In 2020, . was released @office met It released the default weather forecast for 23 July 2050 based on the UK climate forecast.
Today, forecasts for Tuesday are shockingly nearly identical in large parts of the country. pic.twitter.com/U5hQhZwoTi
– Dr. Simon Lee (@SimonLeeWx) July 15 2022
Thirty years from now, these predictions will seem somewhat typical.
Temperatures are expected to be 10-15°C warmer early next week in the UK. Highs could approach 40 degrees Celsius for the first time, a prediction that prompted meteorologists to issue heat alert “red” For the first time in history.
To be clear, this would already be a record heat. The highest temperature ever measured in the country was 38.7°C at Cambridge Botanic Garden in 2019.
It is also clearly a sign of how quickly the climate crisis is changing our era.
“We were hoping we wouldn’t get to this point,” said Nikos Christidis, a climate change ratios scientist at the Met Office. It is a statement. “Climate change has already affected the potential for UK temperatures to rise. The probability of a record 40 days in the UK could be up to 10 times more in the current climate than in a natural climate unaffected by human influence.”
Christidis said the possibility of exceeding 40 degrees Celsius was “rapidly increasing”.
It’s more than just a few embarrassing days. Extreme heat is one of the deadliest weather events, and we don’t see it often at the time, when heat stroke and deaths have been attributed to underlying illnesses such as heart or respiratory disease.
also, Recent Reports They suggest that no more than 5% of UK homes have air conditioning to help keep residents cool.
Last summer we witnessed a strikingly similar situation in the United States, when the Pacific Northwest experienced sweltering heat for several days. Hundreds of people died in that heat wave. British Columbia officials said there were more than 800 “excess deaths” during the heat, which are unexpected and far from normal for that time of year.
Unlike floods or wildfires ravaging a city, the sense of urgency around a killer heat wave is not shocking, said Kristi Ibe, a climate and health researcher at the University of Washington, noting that heat is a “silent killer.”
“When it’s hot outside, it’s hot outside, so it’s a relatively silent killer,” Ibe previously told CNN. “People are generally unaware and not thinking about the risks associated with these high temperatures.”
He also said that it is important to understand that the weather is not what it was a few years ago. The climate crisis is already affecting our lives today, and will continue to affect the most vulnerable.
“We are all looking forward to summer to enjoy warmer temperatures, but there are people who are at risk from these higher temperatures,” he said. “As climate change continues or temperatures rise from what we experienced when we were younger, people need to pay more attention, especially to those around them.”
Rachel Ramirez contributed to this report.
“Subtly charming bacon junkie. Infuriatingly humble beer trailblazer. Introvert. Evil reader. Hipster-friendly creator.”