Why so warm Wales?
As Ice cream and Kagool salesmen and Derek Brockway realised
a few weeks ago, Wales, including the rest of the UK was hit but a very
With the temperatures soaring to over 28⁰C (higher than parts
of Africa), Welsh sun lovers came out in there thousands visiting areas like
St. Fagans, Ogmore and the Pembrokeshire coastline. Many were shocked by the
sudden increase in temperature as these were the warmest weeks of summer the UK
had seen since 1976. But why the change? Debates between Environmentalists and
cynics sprung up, yet much of this went unnoticed as everyone was outside
enjoying the sunshine.
However, why did the weather change? Was it due to Global warming? There is a sufficient amount of evidence to support the idea. Most coming from the MET office, who state it is the Oceans that hold the key and unfortunately the consequences.
Global Warming 101: As temperatures rise due to increasing carbon
emissions, a layer of greenhouse gases are trapped like a duvet between the
earth and its atmosphere. This then keeps all the heat shut in, warming our
planet at the same time. Also the water warms, leading to thermal expansion
causing the volume of H₂O to increase again. This heat causes the ice to melt,
increasing flooding and changing regions of the world forever.
The news often covers the fact that in the next 50 years,
Venice is expected to be underwater, that the US is awaiting yet more devastating
hurricanes but they don't often mention the UK.
As the sea levels change, regions of the UK will begin to
sink and other areas will be pushed up. But why is this? Well, due to
Isostatic rebounding. That is a posh way of saying, during the ice age, Scotland
was placed under a huge amount of ice. Over thousands of years, this ice has
very gradually melted. However as man further pollutes the earth, the rate of which the ice melts increases. This ice has now lessened to a point whereby the weight on
Scotland has been lifted. And, in the words of Isaac
Newton 'What goes up, must come down'. As the tip of the UK rises, the southern
edges of England and the southern tips of Wales are pushed under and flooding
is fast approaching.
Sceptics of course find that due to the
average temperature rise being less now than in the past 15 years, climate
change is simply no longer a problem and it's just following natures course.
For me however I'm going to 'hedge my bets', reducing my carbon footprint where
possible by using my energy more efficently. Using simple tips like not overfilling the kettle when heating and not leaving the TV on stanby. I'd also look into taking many
housing maintenance tips from Scotland. Especially if I lived in the vulnerable
areas of Somerset, Cornwall and Devon.
With weather worse and wetter than the Welsh, we can't deny the
Scots have had perfect conditions to test their housing, as experts have already done. Their roofing tiles
and sturdy wall materials really do hold strong in times of increasing storm
surges and changing weathers.
In conclusion, although the summer heat wave was lovely and
many are sad to see it go, there is a bright side. At least if the heat wave
doesn't continue too much, it may mean a lessening in the climate change impact
and for that we should value our cold, bleak summers. That's an optimist's
viewpoint at least.