Its 100F in California and it could well be over 100 degrees in London today. As we all wilt in the heat, everyone is asking is this climate change? The Independent in its front page thinks so. “Temperature set to hit 100 degrees – and global warming is to blame”, says one of the headlines in today’s paper.
In the UK, roads are melting, railways are buckling, commuters are sweltering and the south east faces its worst drought for 100 years. Temperatures on some buses in the hottest parts of Britain hit 52C yesterday while the London Underground, commonly known as the Tube, reached 47C. In comparison, EU guidelines state that cattle should not be transported at temperatures exceeding 27C.
Meanwhile, with similar temperatures in California, Americans are just cranking up the air conditioning. Earlier this week, peak demand for electricity smashed records and surpassed 46,000 megawatts. Californian Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has ordered state offices to adjust thermostats, turn off nonessential lights and employ other measures to reduce electricity use during peak hours for the rest of the week.
In some parts of the Bay Area, the mix of heat and air pollution from vehicle exhaust was expected to reach levels that are unhealthy for children, the elderly and people with respiratory problems. Forecasters say temperatures may even increase to 114F.
So what do you think – is this climate change? Let us know …