UK Weather: Five areas of England most at risk from hotter weather

**Live stream direct from camera** **Please contact us if captions are needed** 12/07/22 Commuters cross London Bridge as they commute to work in extreme temperatures. The UK is experiencing a sustained heatwave which is expected to last over a week. Temperatures are expected to exceed 30?? at a few places

Commuters cross London Bridge as they commute to work in extreme temperatures (Image: Nick Edwards)

Scientists have identified which areas of England will suffer the most from extreme heat in the coming years.

Birmingham was by far the local authority with the most vulnerable neighborhoods, according to new research from Manchester University and activists Friends of the Earth (FoE).

London boroughs of Newham, Tower Hamlets and Hackney follow, while Nottingham completes the top five. Leicester, Coventry, Bristol, Southampton, Peterborough, Reading and Luton are also in the top 30.

Researchers looked at neighborhoods that are currently vulnerable to hot weather, then assessed more than 40 factors that would make communities there vulnerable.

Old age was one of them, with the elderly and children particularly at risk alongside the countryside when temperatures soared.

Areas crammed with concrete structures absorb much more heat, with high-rise buildings being particularly prone to overheating, while green spaces are cooler and offer shelter from the sun.

Crime was one of the less likely factors, with the researchers suggesting that higher rates could discourage people from opening the windows.

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Mike Childs, head of science, policy and research at FoE, told Sky News the areas need more support.

He suggested planting more trees along roads and retrofitting homes to be warmer in winter and cooler in summer.

The research also suggests that even if global warming is limited to 1.5C, more than 3,000 of the most vulnerable neighborhoods — more than six million people in total — will be exposed to “very hot weather” for five or more days 27.5°C during the summer months.

If it rises by 3°C, half of neighborhoods – more than 30 million people in total – would be at risk of “dangerously hot weather” above 30°C for five or more days in the summer.

Mr Childs said: “Extreme heat waves and health warnings like the ones we’re seeing this week will become much more frequent and severe because of climate change.

“To prevent the most dangerous scenarios from becoming a reality, all countries, including the UK, must make greater efforts to prevent a runaway climate collapse.”

He added: “Suggestions by some politicians that the UK should backtrack on climate targets are short-sighted and reckless.

“People on the front lines of the climate crisis in the UK and overseas are already feeling the effects of it, despite being the least responsible for it.

“We need governments to double down on reducing emissions and providing funding for climate adaptation programs like planting street trees.”

A government spokesman said the UK was already cutting emissions faster than any other G7 nation, giving councils “significant” funds totaling £1.2billion to take local action.

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Justin Scacco

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