My name is Rhys, a first time dad blogging about my adventures and experiences of being a parent. [email protected]

How the hot, dry summer is having an impact on Wales

(Adobe Stock image)

There is a cyclical debate which takes place, mostly on social media, every time we have a heatwave in the UK. It begins with people expressing concern at the temperature creeping towards 40 on the thermometer, and wondering how we’ll cope. A response then comes from people sarcastically saying, in so many words: “Oh no, it’s getting hot! In summer! How will we cope?”. The rest of the debate then becomes a tit-for-tat of pointing out how it’s not usual for things to get this hot, responses that actually there was a day back in 1976 when it was very hot, and nobody ends up any further forward.

It’s worth being very clear at this point: Temperatures are rising by comparison with what we have had in the recent past. The recent major heatwave saw parts of the UK reach more than forty degrees Celsius, which is unprecedented since records began. It’s not like the summer of 1976, and every climate scientist with a shred of credibility is arguing that this is quickly going to become something that happens most summers – not just an anomaly that happened 46 years ago and which, because it was so uncommon at the time, is still talked about today as a particularly hot summer.

Wales is suffering in the hot dry weather 

Arguments on social media don’t do very much to change anyone’s minds, because we are almost conditioned to view anyone holding the opposite viewpoint to us as a troll or a fanatic. So it is probably worth advancing the point made by the National Hydrological Monitoring Programme, a public body which points out that Wales is experiencing lower than average water levels in rivers, reservoirs and groundwater stocks. The impact of that is detrimental to agriculture (which is a major economic contributor and employer in Wales), and also to the domestic water supply. All of these levels were reported as being low in June; the severe heatwave was in mid-July.

The climate is changing, and it’s going to accelerate

 There is little dispute at this point that we’re living in the early stages of a seismic change in our climate, and changes are needed merely to keep things as they are. The time for action was long ago, but that doesn’t mean not taking action is the right course now. A consultation with the likes of consultus.com will show any business what they could be doing to mitigate the effects of climate change and to make your business ready for Net Zero. More will certainly need to be done, and it’s going to have to come from the top down – but right now, people and businesses can help by focusing on what they can do.

What does the future look like?

The problem of long-range weather forecasting is that it is impossible to accurately model global weather patterns with any confidence, but the trends are more predictable, and experts are in agreement that from 2030 onwards, every other summer will either see the record hottest temperatures being reached, or at least close to that level. As well as taking action to minimise our own impacts on the environment, it’s going to be a case of preparing as best we can for more summers like this, with the real possibility that it will be a degree or two higher in places.