Extreme heat in UK further disrupts air travel as it melts airport runways

Parts of Britain are literally melting due to extreme heat. On Monday, Luton Airport, about 30 miles north of London, had to suspend flights because extreme heat damaged part of its runway, adding to already strains. turbulent travel season,

The airport tweeted on Monday that a “surface fault” had been identified on the runway due to high temperatures, later saying the high surface temperature had lifted a small portion of the surface. Monday was another day of what the UK Meteorological Office identified as “extreme heat”, which they attribute to “extraordinary, perhaps record-breaking, temperatures”. The Luton region saw temperatures as high as 35 degrees Celsius — or 95 degrees Fahrenheit — on Monday, according to the office.

The runway was fully operational again within a few hours, but the effects of the heat are the latest in airline travel woes around the world. Just last week, London’s Heathrow Airport had to cap airline passenger To deal with the increasing demand for travel and shortage of staff. In recent weeks, Thousands of flights have been canceled In the US, with delayed viewing in the thousands. Millions of people have been affected.

And the latest issue in Luton is indicative of a far bigger issue – the many significant tolls that extreme heat can take on infrastructure.

London’s East Midlands Railway also issued a warning on Monday urging people to refrain from traveling on Tuesday because of extreme temperatures likely to exceed 38 degrees Celsius or 100 degrees Fahrenheit in the area.

While July is the hottest month for the Midlands, the highest daily temperature is around 23.5ºC, according to the Met Office.

In its warning, the railways said that the tracks are typically 20 degrees hotter than the air, meaning that extreme temperatures “can cause the track to twist and turn” – a critical safety issue that limits the speed of trains to 125 miles. Gives speed up to per hour. , Several services were canceled on Tuesday, while the speed of some trains was reduced to 20 mph in some areas. Thameslink trains were also quite limited.

The warnings also come as Britain recorded its hottest day on record with temperatures exceeding 40.2 degrees Celsius – 104 degrees Fahrenheit at Heathrow shortly before 1 p.m. on Tuesday. If the temperature is confirmed, it will beat the previous record of 2019 by 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Extreme temperatures indicate a lack of climate resilience when it comes to infrastructure.

A heat wave in the US Pacific Northwest last year forced municipalities to close their bridges and be unable to operate under extreme heat, as roads cracked and cracked during days of triple-digit temperatures . And this summer, experts warn that the US power grid may not be able to cope with the extreme heatwaves.

And as the world continues to pump out fossil fuel emissions and contribute to global warming, these temperatures are likely to be much higher. Climate change is already affecting the likelihood of extreme temperatures in the UK, Met Office scientist Nikos Christidis said in a statement.

“The probability of seeing a 40°C day in the UK could be 10 times higher in the current climate than in a natural climate unaffected by human impact,” Christidis said. “The likelihood of exceeding 40°C anywhere in the UK in a given year is also increasing rapidly, and even with current pledges on emissions reductions, in an environment of such extreme 2100 Maybe every 15 years.”

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