'Devastation': How climate change will rip up the British seasons

The UK's recent storms and flash floods are a sign that climate change is already disrupting our seasons (Getty Images)
The UK's recent storms and flash floods are a sign that climate change is already disrupting our seasons (Getty Images)

Recent freak heatwaves and horrendous flashing flooding have given Brits a first-hand taster of the devastation and disruption that climate change is already bringing to the world, with the UK set to become much hotter, sunnier and rainier. 

All of the UK's ten warmest years on record have occurred since 2002, and extreme summer heatwaves are now 30 times more likely to happen due to climate change. 

By 2050, heatwaves like the one we endured last year are expected to happen every other year, and the UK Met Office states that summers in just 50 years time will be between 1 and 6°C warmer and up to 60 per cent drier

But it's not just the Great British Summer which may well be a thing of the past - our autumns and winters are going to be very different, too. 

Watch this: UK finance sector responsible for almost double Britain's net carbon emissions

UK winters are projected to become warmer and wetter on average, with the Met Office predicting that by 2070 the season will be between 1 and 4.5°C warmer and up to 30 per cent wetter. 

Very heavy rainfall is also more likely, and since 1998, the UK has seen seven of the ten wettest years on record. The winter storms in 2015 were at least 40 per cent more likely because of climate change.

If you think this all sounds fine because you're a sun-worshipper, or you don't mind a spot of rain, it's time to get real. Climate change is as big a risk to us all as the pandemic - many experts say a much bigger one. 

Read more: Extreme weather - what causes flash floods?

"More extreme heat will be a risk to public health," a representative from the Met Office told Yahoo. "More frequent heatwaves will put people at risk, particularly older people. 

Frequent and intense rainfall will also cause an increase in flooding, which we will need to adapt to. We have all seen the devastation caused by flooding and how it can impact our lives." 

Photo Taken In London, United Kingdom
Dreaming of a white Christmas? Dream on. UK winters will become warmer and wetter (Getty Images)

So what can we do, to protect our changing seasons? While some climate change is, tragically, already "locked in," it's not too late to stop things getting even worse. 

“Our research clearly shows that the more we warm the planet through human-induced climate change, the more severe weather we can expect in the UK," said Dr Helen Hanlon, recently, in a Met Office paper. 

“Importantly, the paper shows that the increase in high-impact weather is reduced if global warming is kept as low as possible, showing that efforts to reduce human-induced climate change will curb the most severe impacts of future weather in the UK.”

So it's not quite too late to act now - it's time to drive less (much less), fly less, eat far less meat and dairy products, shop locally and seasonally, and to reuse, repair or buy secondhand. And, above all, to lobby our politicians and major corporations to take drastic action. 

Otherwise, we're all in for a catastrophically different new set of British seasons. 

Watch this: Climate change - UK's carbon footprint down by 17 per cent due to the pandemic

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