Much talk of ‘extreme’ temperatures in UK cities in this Met Office blog post, although there aren’t any examples. There was a significant heatwave in 1976 and a few warmer than usual spells in the early 2000s, but talk of ‘frequency’ of such events seems premature to say the least. But the Met Office feels sure its computer modelling will prove to be accurate, and that weather trends are now largely determined by human activities.
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With the recent COP26 focussing heavily on the chances of keeping global temperature rise below 1.5°C, it might be easy to forget that we are still committed to further climate change and a resulting increase in the frequency and intensity of heatwaves.
The impact of this will be felt increasingly in cities, where the majority of the world’s population now live, where much of our businesses, industry and infrastructure are concentrated, and where extreme temperatures are exacerbated by the urban heat island effect.
With many cities across the UK declaring climate emergencies, city councils and other decision-makers are asking how they can use increasingly refined and detailed climate projections to better understand the impact of extreme heat on urban communities.
The Met Office’s high-resolution projections from UKCP provide some of the most accurate climate modelling of heat in urban areas available.
Dr Will Keat is a Met Office climate scientist who has studied these new projections. He said: “Our most detailed climate projections over the UK also contain a much more realistic representation of cities and other urban areas than used previously. We have found that these projections provide a marked improvement when investigating how extreme temperatures will change in UK cities when compared to less detailed models.”
The high resolution projections are being used by scientists working with local authorities to understand the effect these changes will have on their cities.
Dr Tyrone Dunbar is the Met Office Scientific Manager for urban climate services. He said: “The concept of urban heat islands – where urban locations retain more heat than surrounding areas – has long been understood. By combining our higher resolution projections with detailed information about where vulnerable people and buildings are in cities, we are helping local authorities and planners gain a far more detailed picture of the impacts their residents and visitors will increasingly face in future.”
via Tallbloke’s Talkshop