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Dr Mark Hardiman discusses climate change and how hot summers may become the norm in the UK

15 min listen

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Dr Mark Hardiman looks at the soaring temperatures on the Costa del Portsmouth and says climate change could mean long, hot summers are the norm in the UK. With this comes a greater risk of forest fires in our damp nation. So what does this mean for our future homes and lifestyles? He explains the complex history of fire ecology and our changing landscape in the UK, as well as how humans and fire have always co-existed.

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People often think the climate changes can happen in the future, but we're already living through it. It hasn't started now. It's been going on for a long time. You know, throughout my lifetime. Throughout your lifetimes.

Dr Mark Hardiman, Senior Lecturer

Episode transcript:

Anna Rose: Thanks for downloading this podcast from the University of Portsmouth. In Life Solved, we're asking the big questions about our world, from politics to technology, our bodies and our environments. We've snatched interviews with researchers who are challenging existing ideas and seeking new ways of solving the world's problems. This time, Britain is burning. In our children's lives, the world will become a different place.

Mark Hardiman: The world around us will change in the next 50 years, definitely within our lifetimes. Over the next 100 years.

Anna Rose: Change happens, but it's happening faster.

Mark Hardiman: We tend to find where we get abrupt climatic change, which we might expect over the next 50 100 years, you tend to get peaks in fire.

Anna Rose: What does it mean for life as we know it? John Worsey spoke to Dr Mark Hardiman.

Mark Hardiman: We've been changing landscape for a long time as humans. It's not just since the industrial revolution. It's been happening a long, long time.

Anna Rose: When John met with Dr Mark Hardiman to record this chat, Portsmouth had just spent the weekend basking in 30-degree heat. The parks and coastline here saw a rush of heat seekers all wanting to make the most of this Mediterranean moment. But if Mark's research is anything to go by, we had better start getting used to the Costa del Portsmouth.

Mark Hardiman: By 2040, that would be a normal day in summer. It won't be a heatwave that will be a normal day. So that's, you know, that's not that far away, really. That's 20 years down the road. People often think that climate change is going to happen in the future, but we're already living through it. It hasn't started now. It's been going on for a long time and throughout my lifetime. Throughout all of our lifetimes. So yes, it's something we're living with. The problem with climate change, though, is that I think the bad news, unfortunately, might come by the time it's too late to do much about it.

Anna Ro

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