Deadly mosquitoes during 6-month UK summers ‘to become norm in next few decades’

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Mosquitoes carrying viruses threatening outbreaks could be the norm in six-month-long summers by 2100.

A study claims that global warming will change the weather and length of the four seasons with summers lasting for half the year in the Northern Hemisphere within 100 years.

Winters could last less than two months with spring and autumn also being cut short, with the dramatic changes posing "increased risk to humanity".

A team of researchers, who published the study in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, said: "Tropical mosquitoes carrying viruses are likely to expand northward and bring about explosive outbreaks during longer and hotter summers."

In response to the research, Congwen Zhu, of the State Key Laboratory of Severe Weather and Institute of Climate System at the Chinese Academy of Meteorological Sciences, said: "A hotter and longer summer will suffer more frequent and intensified high-temperature events – heatwaves and wildfires.

"More often, I read some unseasonable weather reports, for example, false spring, or May snow, and the like.

"Summers are getting longer and hotter while winters shorter and warmer due to global warming."

Researchers studied historical daily temperature data from 1952 to 2011 in the Northern Hemisphere to investigate how the onset of new seasons changed from year to year.

The team defined the start of summer as the onset of temperatures in the hottest 25%, while they defined the beginning of winter as the start of temperatures in the coldest 25% from the same time span.

Scientists found that, on average, summer lengthened from 79 to 95 days between 1952 and 2011.

Winter on the other hand shrank from 76 to 73 days. Spring also got smaller, falling from 124 to 115 days as did autumn, dropping from 87 to 82 days.

Average temperatures changed accordingly during this period with both summer and winter becoming warmer, allowing researchers to estimate the trajectory changing temperatures are on.

  • Science
  • UK Weather

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