It's not often that a weather report goes viral. It's even less often that a weather report from five years ago goes viral. Weather reports are generally not known for their longevity.
However, one weather report from TF1 in France has been doing the rounds over the last few days, and you aren't going to like the reasons why. In 2014, weather reporter Évelyne Dhéliat teamed up with the World Meteorological Organization to create a fictional weather report imagining what the weather would be like in 2050. At the time their predictions were deemed far-fetched.
Then, in June, the below happened.
Yes, in 2014 – which just to really hammer it home here, is only five years ago – the temperatures easily caught up with and in some areas surpassed the "far-fetched" fictional warning about what (by 2050) climate change might do.
The fictional report can be seen below, followed by a side-by-side comparison with the report from June 2019.
This wasn't even the hottest day of the year. Later, in July, the weather surpassed even this. On the chart below, the temperature exceeded the usual red/orange color code so they looped back around to purple.
The heatwave in France this year saw around five people reportedly die due to the heat, while in the southwest two nuclear reactors were curtailed due to the high temperatures, which caused the river water used to cool the reactors to heat up too much to be effective at full output. Across the whole of Europe, temperature records were smashed.
Though these two weather reports provide a hell of a snapshot and creeping sense of dread, it is worth remembering that these were just two points in time, one of which was an unusually hot heatwave. What's much more useful (and worrying) is the long-term trend.
The 10 hottest years ever recorded in the UK, for instance, all occurred in the 21st century, while June 2019 was the hottest June ever recorded, at 2ºC (3.6ºF) above normal temperatures around the globe.
In temperature order, 2016, 2015, 2017, and 2018 have all been the hottest years on record according to a UN report, with 20 of the last 22 years also being the warmest since records began.
The climate is warming faster and more consistently than it has in over 2,000 years. Sleep soundly.