The sizzling heat wave that is curranty sweeping across the U.K has exposed that the country’s infrastructure is not fit for high temperatures. Trains were disrupted and tar on some runways was reported to be melting as temperatures soared in the last two days.
Temperatures in some parts of the U.K neared a record high as blistering heat swept the country. By midafternoon yesterday, Wales had recorded its highest-ever temperature: The thermometer hit 37.1 degrees Celsius, almost 99 degrees Fahrenheit.
Infrastructure is under strain. Some train services were cancelled, while others were running at reduced speeds in case the tracks buckled. Flights at Britain’s largest air base were halted over fears that the tar could melt. And the chains of a Victorian-era bridge were wrapped in foil to keep cracks from expanding and threatening the bridge’s stability.
Global warming has exacerbated Europe’s heat waves, which scientists say are increasing in frequency and intensity at a faster rate than in almost any other part of the planet. So have changes in the jet stream, scientists say.
Yesterday, the U.N. secretary general warned that humanity faced a “collective suicide” over the climate crisis. But the top candidates to be Britain’s next prime minister appear to be more focused on the cost-of-living crisis than on the government’s ambitious targets to reach “net zero” carbon emissions by 2050.