Climate Change: London as hot as Barcelona by 2050 - the implications

The "Fridays for future" groups from lower-saxony organized a march through the city of Hanover against the climate change on 5th of July 2019 in Hanover. Several...

Crowther Lab scientists highlight the climate emergency using visualisation.

Scientists from Crowther Lab predict that London's climate could feel like modern-day Melbourne or Barcelona by 2050. Using a visual map to illustrate their findings, Crowther Lab hopes real-life hypothetical will be more attention-grabbing than the piles of data usually presented by environmental scientists.

This research, published on the Crowther Lab website, looks at the predicted climate conditions of 520 cities across the world by 2050. Their results show an urgent need for a mass shift in behaviour and attitude towards climate change - from both governments and from individuals.

Here are the Crowther Lab's predictions for cities in the United Kingdom in 2050, as well as some implications and potential solutions to the fast-approaching climate emergency.

UK cities in 2050

Crowds of commuters walk to work across London Bridge in London, England on August 03, 2018 during hot sunny weather as the heatwave continues in the capital and across Europe.

Of the 520 cities sampled in this project, the Crowther Lab used eight UK cities in their research. This includes cities in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Here are the results of the research, as shown on the Crowther Lab's interactive map:

London (Feels like Barcelona): Increase in temperature of 5.9°C in the warmest month and 3°C in the coldest month with a 2.1°C increase in annual temperature.

Birmingham (Feels like Paris): Increase in temperature of 4.3°C in the warmest month and 2.1°C in the coldest month with a 1.9°C increase in annual temperature.

Leeds (Feels like Melbourne): Increase in temperature of 4.6°C in the warmest month and 2.7°C in the coldest month with a 2°C increase in annual temperature.

Manchester (Feels like Montevideo): Increase in temperature of 6.2°C in the warmest month and 3°C in the coldest month with a 2.9°C increase in annual temperature.

Cardiff (Feels like Montevideo): Increase in temperature of 4.4°C in the warmest month and 2°C in the coldest month with a 1.8°C increase in annual temperature.

Edinburgh (Feels like Paris): Increase in temperature of 4.3°C in the warmest month and 1.8°C in the coldest month with a 1.7°C increase in annual temperature.

Glasgow (Feels like Cardiff): Increase in temperature of 3.2°C in the warmest month and 1.8°C in the coldest month with a 1.5°C increase in annual temperature.

Belfast (Feels like Cardiff): Increase in temperature of 3.5°C in the warmest month and 1.4°C in the coldest month with a 1.1°C increase in annual temperature.

The implications

The cracked bed of the tributary of Llosa del Cavall, about 150 kilometers northwest of Barcelona, normally rushing with water, is about three quarters empty as Spain suffers it worst...

While a hotter climate sounds appealing at first, the environmental consequences that will follow will show why this is a situation which must be averted - or managed, at the very least.

Crowther Lab likens London's future climate to Barcelona and warns of a repeat of the 2008 droughts in the Catalan region. Back then, the Spanish government were forced to import drinking water to the region at a cost of €22m.

Not only does the UK risk droughts in the future, but other weather extremes - such as heavy rainfall, hurricanes, flooding and heatwaves - will become more regular occurrences.

Moreover, the UK does not have the infrastructure in place for a dramatically hotter climate. Preparing for this hike in temperature and the accompanying climate extremes will come at a great cost to the nation.

Potential solutions

VICTORIA TOWER GARDENS, LONDON, GREATER LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM - 2019

This Crowther Lab report tells us that the Mayor of London - back in 2017 - put measures in place in case of a drought. In the Environmental Strategy plan for 2050, London has considered the possibility that there may be a drought by that time.

But this is a worst-case scenario and a solution for a problem which has not yet arisen. Therefore, every precaution needs to be taken - both from the individual and the government - to prevent us from reaching this situation in the first place.

The UK government needs to aim to cut greenhouse gas emissions to nearly net-zero by 2050. This would make the nation a world leader in tackling the climate crisis but the government needs help from the British people.

There are various ways to reduce your individual carbon footprint in your everyday life. You can read about them by using the following links: In the householdEating and buying lifestyle choices; Travel.

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