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Shocking Satellite Images Of UK Taken One Year Apart Show Devastation Of Heatwave

Daisy Phillipson

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Shocking Satellite Images Of UK Taken One Year Apart Show Devastation Of Heatwave

Featured Image Credit: NASA Worldwide

Shocking satellite images showing the UK one year apart demonstrate just how devastating the heatwave has been.

Earlier this week, temperatures reached 40C for the first time ever following the Met Office’s rare red extreme heat warning.

Although the hot weather is starting to ease, the country is still dealing with the fallout. Devastating wildfires tore through homes across England while destroying the local landscape. 

Illustrating just how much damage was caused, BBC Weather presenter and meteorologist Dan Holley took to Twitter to share side-by-side images of the UK in July 2021 and July 2022:

As you can see, the left image depicts much greener, healthier looking terrain, while the right shows the UK looking paler in colour and much drier. 

Although the satellite photos certainly appear to paint a concerning picture, Holley explained that there are some factors to take into consideration. 

When one commenter pointed out that the sea looks to be a slightly different colour in each pic, he replied: “I suspect that may be partly to do with the time of day each image is taken (satellite passes may not be the same time of day, and hence sun may be at a different position etc).”

In a separate tweet, he added: “I would imagine any impacts from sun (glint etc) are more pronounced on water than land. 

Wildfires destroyed UK homes amid the heatwave. Credit: SWNS
Wildfires destroyed UK homes amid the heatwave. Credit: SWNS

“There may also be some ocean/marine reasons too for the differences - but beyond my area of interest etc.”

But even with these factors in mind, there’s no denying the drastic difference between the land in each image, and it’s only added fuel to people’s climate change concerns.

“Not so much a green and pleasant land anymore,” commented one. “More like a brown and parched one.”

Another said, “Wow. Scary. Trouble is we will likely go from arid desert-like dryness to severe flooding when it does break properly.”

A third added: “And the government believes that we can wait another three decades!”

Many people also mentioned the infamous heatwave of 1976, which has been a major talking point in recent days. 

While some suggested that the recent heatwave was no more severe than it was nearly five decades ago, others were on hand to show just how drastically the climate has changed since then: 

Adding to the conversation, Dr Nikos Christidis - climate attribution scientist at the Met Office – said: "Climate change has already influenced the likelihood of temperature extremes in the UK.

"The chances of seeing 40C days in the UK could be as much as 10 times more likely in the current climate than under a natural climate unaffected by human influence.

"The likelihood of exceeding 40C anywhere in the UK in a given year has also been rapidly increasing, and, even with current pledges on emissions reductions, such extremes could be taking place every 15 years in the climate of 2100."

Topics: UK News, Weather, Twitter, Global Warming

Daisy Phillipson
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