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A Hot, Dry Britain Is Set to Declare a Drought

LONDON — The British government was to declare a drought for parts of England on Friday as the country experienced another day of hot, dry conditions with temperatures expected to approach 95 degrees Fahrenheit, or 35 degrees Celsius.

The expected drought announcement, widely reported by UK news outlets, would allow water companies to impose stricter conservation measures and come next the driest July in England since 1935. Several water companies have temporarily banned the use of hoses to water yards and gardens and wash vehicles.

“Water utilities are already coping with the unprecedented effects of the driest winter and spring since the 1970s, and with more hot, dry weather forecasts, it’s critical that we become even more aware of our water use to minimize spikes in demand. and make sure there’s plenty to go on. around,” Peter Jenkins, director of communications for the industry association Water UK, said in a statement.

The Met Office, the national weather service of Great Britain, extreme heat warning issued through Sunday for much of the southern half of England and parts of Wales, underlining that rising temperatures could not only disrupt travel but also increase the risk of heat-related illness for certain groups.

Wiggonholt, in the south of England, recorded the highest temperature in the country on Thursday, at 93.5 Fahrenheit (34.2 Celsius). A dry start was expected on Friday with a rapidly rising mercury. Temperatures could soar even higher over the weekend, meteorologists said, but they also predicted they wouldn’t be as extreme as those seen in July, when they first rose above 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in Britain.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, on Thursday, residents urged to avoid grilling on balconies, in parks and in backyards for fear of fire. The London Fire Brigade said: that there had been hundreds of fires in the capital in the first week of August, compared to 42 in the same period in 2021.

Several retail chains have stopped selling disposable barbecues during the dry season, The Guardian reported.

Britain’s heatwave in July was exacerbated by climate change, according to a scientific report. While linking a single heatwave to climate change requires analysis, scientists have no doubt that heatwaves around the world are getting hotter, more frequent and longer lasting. As the burning of fossil fuels causes the average temperature on Earth to rise, so does the range of possible temperatures, making blistering peaks more likely. This means that any heat wave is now exacerbated to some degree by changes in planetary chemistry caused by greenhouse gas emissions.

Dan Roberts, a psychotherapist in London, said on Thursday that because of the extreme heat, he was allowing patients to make appointments via Zoom. “My office is like an oven,” he said, adding that traveling in the heat may also be too much for some. “We have a really hard time when the temperature gets that high,” he said.

Rising temperatures, Mr. Roberts said, can have a negative effect on a person’s emotional well-being. “What we find is that when the temperature goes up, you get a big spike in things like traffic unrest, violent crime, domestic violence, things like that,” he said. “The hotter we get, the more fleeting our emotions become, especially anger. We can get angry quickly, we can lose our temper, very irritable, frustrated.”

In Leeds, in the north of England, Ashley Moore, an economist who works from home, said he not only moved his desk around his office to avoid the sun, but also worked with fewer clothes on and didn’t go in front of the camera. .

Mr Moore said he planned to keep his cool for the weekend by retreating to local beer gardens and staying near a canal. At home he bought extra fans. He admitted he was still adjusting to the heat.

“It’s nice to go on holiday to the heat,” he noted, but, he said, “I don’t expect this here, at this time of year, with this intensity and this regularity. I don’t enjoy that. “

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