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National Emergency Could Be Declared In The UK IF Heatwave Hits 40C

Health authorities in the UK have raised concerns over the increase in temperature this past week. The temperature has soared this week to up to 30C and it's predicted to get hotter.


Ministers are reportedly drawing up plans for an emergency response to the heatwave following the Met Office’s amber heat warning on Monday across the UK and Wales. The Daily Telegraph reported that a Cobra meeting was held about the soaring temperatures in the UK. 


An amber extreme heat alert has been issued by the Met Office for ‘exceptionally high’ temperatures until Sunday. The Met Office and weather forecasters predict that if the high temperatures continue, the heat could cause serious illness and in some circumstances death. 


The UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) could declare a level four emergency if the heat becomes so severe that the fit and healthy are at risk from severe weakness and death. As well as this, fires have started in farmland areas such as wheatfields in North Yorkshire. 


A majority of these deaths could come from the homeless, without money to get water and food and limited shelter during heatwaves, the homeless are one of the biggest demographics at risk from death and illness during heatwaves. 


The heatwave has only just begun as of Monday, and forecasters warn of the possibility the UK could see record 40C temperatures towards the end of the week. Which have never been seen in the UK.


However, despite the warnings, a majority of Britons have enjoyed the heat, and record breaking numbers of people have gone to the beach to enjoy the hot weather. This has resulted in the hospitalisation of people due to dehydration and heat stroke in some areas such as north Yorkshire and coastal towns. If you do want to enjoy the sun, the NHS recommends you apply a lot of sunscreen and drink lots of fluids preferably water.  


As well as this, the Trades Union Congress (TUC) has urged employers to relax dress codes, let staff work from home or adjust their hours during the UK’s heatwave. TUC recommends that employers let workers have frequent water breaks and allow flexible or hybrid working to ensure the safety and wellbeing of their workers. 


Alot of health and environmental experts believe this heatwave could be caused by climate change. Heatwaves have become much hotter and more frequent over the past 100 years, according to the latest report from the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the global authority on climate science.


The average global temperature has risen roughly 1.2 degrees Celsius (2.2 degrees Fahrenheit) since the Industrial Revolution began in the 19th century. The IPCC is not sure what’s causing this additional heat but use of fossil fuels and the emissions caused by them seem to be the culprit. 


Edited by: Sara Moreira

Image Credit: Daily Express

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