London Faces Severe Droughts

By Lujayn Al-Husayni— Correspondent

At the banks of The Serpentine River, the bright sun was hitting the dying grass that stood out like a sore thumb.  

The hottest day in England ever recorded was on July 19, 2022, and no one was prepared for the heatwave to come for months. People all over England have never dealt with this condition. They are used to cool breezes and moderate temperatures.

The droughts in London have taken a toll on everyone. At the temperature’s highest peak of 40.2  ℃ (104.5 ℉), the country’s grass has turned yellow and dead, crunching at the bottom of people’s feet as they pass into Hyde Park’s fields. 

Dalal Al-Dajani, a former resident of London who now lives in the US, says she used to love going to the park, sitting next to the lake, and feeding the animals, but when she visited London a few years later, it all changed. There was no green grass, no beautiful flowers, and no cool breeze. “I was surprised not to see green landscapes. London is known for its green areas, but now they are just dry and yellow,” said Al-Dajani. 

“It was sad to see it like that. Before, when you look down from the plane, all you see is green, but now it’s all yellow and the water level is lower. It was hotter than usual. Usually you get a nice breeze,” she added. 

The drought affected many people living in London and they were not prepared for it. Some people were impacted, others were not. 

Jana Al-Husayni, a college student who is studying abroad in London says her life was not altered much by the droughts. “I wasn’t impacted by the drought in regards to access to water, but all of London was impacted by the extreme temperatures in July and August,” said Al-Husayni.

“Looking back at it, it’s probably because I was living in a more affluent area in London,” she added.

Al-Husayni says lack of air conditioning was an issue. “Seeing as London does not have air conditioning in residential areas, it was extremely hard to sit at home because it was 104 °F,” she said.

Air conditioning was not the only issue that came with the droughts, as transportation in London was also impacted. 

“I had received warnings to stay indoors and avoid using the tube as the rails were melting as a result of the extreme heat. It is definitely necessary for these countries, such as London, who are not equipped for these high temperatures to start changing their infrastructure to adapt to these new rises in temperature,” said Al-Husayni.

“Overall I think [this is] a result of global warming and if it continues, the world is going to see rising temperatures everywhere even in places that have never seen such high temperatures,” she added.

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