Record-high temperatures not predicted to hit England and France until 2050 are happening now, as Europe’s latest heatwave continues to scorch the continent and shatter long-range weather models. Both countries have reported high temperatures above 40° Celsius—104° Fahrenheit—and higher numbers were still expected.
Two years ago, the UK’s national weather service, Met Office, created a weather forecast for July 23, 2050 to show what could be in store for nations in thirty years. The long-range numbers were high, but it turns out that these have come much earlier than expected—thirty years earlier.
The high temperatures in that Met Office prediction look very similar to the actual temperatures the country is enduring—or expected to endure—during the current heatwave that has spread across Europe.
High Temperatures Predicted for 2050 in England, France
In a July 15th Twitter message, Cai Perry of the UK showed a side-by-side comparison, writing: “On the left is a 2020 Met Office prediction of what a 2050 summer heatwave could look like. On the right is a BBC weather forecast made this morning, for this coming Tuesday. The Climate Crisis is real and it’s happening now. Wake the f**k up.”
On the left is a 2020 Met Office prediction of what a 2050 summer heatwave could look like.
On the right is a BBC weather forecast made this morning, for this coming Tuesday.
The Climate Crisis is real and it's happening now. Wake the f**k up. pic.twitter.com/9ZMMIrveFY
— Cai Parry (@CaiParryUK) July 15, 2022
Meanwhile, in France, a forecaster in 2014 ran a similar temperature model for that country.
At the time, TV presenter on France’s TF1, Évelyne Dhéliat, showed a high of up to 43° Celsius—109.4 Fahrenheit— and around 30° to 34° Celsius—86° to 93.2° Fahrenheit— across most of the country for one day in August 2050. Again, those numbers are bearing out now as current forecasts predict new record-high temperatures on Monday in the south of France after issuing warnings of the mercury rising to 41° Celsius—105.8° Fahrenheit—on Sunday.
This week, Dhéliat referred to the similarities in temperatures to her 2050 forecast made eight years ago with the actual ones now as “frightening,” according to The Connexion.
The current heatwave has led to deadly wildfires in Portugal, where at least 238 people have died; in the southwest part of France, over 12,000 people have been evacuated. Drought alerts have also been issued across a large part of the continent, Politico reported.
Following Cai Parry’s tweet in the UK, atmospheric scientist Dr. Simon Lee sent a similar Tweet that compared the temperatures predicted there in the 2050 weather forecast with the ones happening today.
Current Heatwave Offers ‘Insight into the Future’
But in a follow-up post to that one, Lee advised: “I don’t think you can interpret this as climate change occurring ‘faster than anticipated.’ Climate models have shown that 40C is possible in the UK in the current climate, just very rare. My point is that what is coming on Tuesday gives an insight into the future.”
He added in another tweet that the 40° Celsius predictions in the 2050 modeling is actually less extreme than what is occurring now in 2022.
In the present climate, 40C represents a new extreme, which is becoming more likely due to climate change (https://t.co/2nlOmWHo8W). Both the 2050 and 2022 forecasts are showing extreme events, but 40C in the 2050 forecast is less extreme than the 40C in 2022.
— Dr Simon Lee (@SimonLeeWx) July 15, 2022
Climate Change is Real
While meteorologists and weather experts emphasize a single event cannot and should not be directly linked to overall climate change in recent history, climate change has been at the forefront in contributing to hazards in weather cycles. With the long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns, such as hurricanes, droughts and wildfires, flooding, and high winds, the earth is witnessing a new scale of destruction and devastation.
The last year alone was a series of devastating climate disasters, as was evident through Cyclone Idai and the southeast Asia flooding, in various parts of the world in India, Pakistan, and Europe.