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Four people have died – and another is feared dead – following flooding during Storm Dennis this weekend.

The UK has experienced severe weather conditions in recent days, with winds of more than 90mph recorded in some areas, extreme rainfall, flooding, and landslides.

The Environment Agency issued a record number of flood warnings on Sunday – hitting 600. Now forecasters have warned more is to come, issuing a yellow weather warning for snow and ice for the Grampians in Scotland.

Severe weather in the UK

According to reports, Yorkshire, the Midlands, the North East and the South West seem to have experienced the worst of Storm Dennis in England, with many being told to prepare for imminent flooding. Rivers have flooded their banks in Herefordshire and Worcestershire, leaving homes and businesses under water. Other areas across the country are facing flood warnings.

A major incident has been declared by Police in South Wales due to extensive flooding. Rivers including the Wye, Severn, Usk, Ithon, Monnow, Vyrnwy, Teifi and Teme have all been affected.

There are flood warnings and alerts in place across Scotland – none deemed severe at the moment, though the whole country has been issued a yellow weather warning with high winds and possibly snow expected.

Northern Ireland is facing a number of flood hazards, with the Belfast and Derry most at risk, and Armagh and Ballymena also facing a flood risk. The Met Office has issued a yellow wind warning which covers most of NI.

Climate change?

Meteorologist Simon Lee, from Reading University, wrote a piece in The Times about the potential link between Storm Dennis (and recent Storm Ciara) and climate change. According to Lee, January 2020 was the warmest or second warmest on record in every global temperature dataset.

“It emphasises the rapid warming of the planet. These record temperatures are consistent with recent events such as the Australian wildfires, the rising temperatures in the Antarctic and the unprecedented lack of ice and snow in parts of Europe,” he added.

“What does this mean for Britain’s weather? So far the world has seen warming of about 1C. That is going to continue and the best guess is that the world could be – in a worst-case scenario – 4C-6C warmer by 2100.

That may not sound much – but multiplied by the area of the planet it means that the atmosphere will hold an enormous amount more energy.

“That energy will not only be felt as heat. It will also power our weather like never before. That means more and bigger storms, stronger winds and changes in the temperature of the oceans, which will make the sea levels rise. If our weather is exciting now, it may soon be overwhelming.”

Maria Chiorando

Maria is the editor of Plant Based News. As a former magazine editor, newspaper reporter, and features writer, her work has been published by The Guardian, The Huffington Post, and various regional newspapers, as well as Vegan Life magazine and Vegan Trade Journal. She has interviewed a huge range of people, from Prime Ministers to authors, activists, pop stars and actors, and enjoys the varied range of topics writing for PBN allows her to tackle.