I have set up this new blog to share thoughts about climate change, it’s impacts and what we can do about it. You may also find useful articles in my bookmarks or twitter feed. And if you like music, do check out my band Avian’s website.
From one extreme to another
There has been a lot going on for me with the completion of the Reading Climate Emergency Strategy, and then stepping down as RCCP Chair, with all the pieces to pick up on the other side. Oh – and of course everything has become so much harder with the coronavirus lockdown. Easy to forget how unusual the weather has been during all this…
- Last year 2019 had a number of extreme events. It was the 11th hottest year (since 1910 in the UK), with a new hottest day record set of 38.7 degC in Cambridge (25th July). The Easter and August bank holidays were record-breakingly hot. In the southeast we were worried about developing drought conditions again – despite heavy rainfall in the Spring – all of that came to an end with a wet October and November, which saw flooding in parts of the country.
This year so far…
- We had the 5th mildest winter and wettest February (since 1862). There was more flooding – including Flood Warnings near us in Reading. This kept colleagues of mine busy gauging river flood flows.
- May 2020 was the sunniest month on record and it was the sunniest Spring as well. This made the start of lockdown quite pleasant, and good for household energy bills for all of us newly confined to home (which may make the coming winter a bit of shock!). Water use was huge though: my Thames Water colleagues – in our ReadingCAN Water Theme – are estimating that demand increased by something like 20%…which is serious given how water stressed this part of the world is.