'We're headed towards catastrophic damage': Leeds University academic on Yorkshire's extreme weather

Scorching temperatures in Leeds were followed by devastating floods across Yorkshire
Scorching temperatures in Leeds were followed by devastating floods across Yorkshire
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An academic at the University of Leeds has warned of the 'catastrophic' dangers of climate change following the extreme weather in Yorkshire.

-> 'I've lost everything I've ever owned in an hour': Devastated Yorkshire woman speaks of her horror after home is destroyed by floods
July temperatures soared to 36C in Leeds, before thunderstorms and heavy downpours hit the region.

A man rides a bike through flood water outside Dales Cafe and Cakery in Yorkshire (Photo: PA/Danny Lawson)

A man rides a bike through flood water outside Dales Cafe and Cakery in Yorkshire (Photo: PA/Danny Lawson)

Parts of Calderdale and North Yorkshire have been devastated by flooding and another thunderstorm is set to hit Yorkshire on Sunday.

On Tuesday, the Met Office released a report which revealed that the UK's 10 hottest years on record have occurred since 2002.

None of Britain's coldest years have happened since 1963.

Dr John Marsham, a climate change researcher at the University of Leeds and the National Centre for Atmospheric Science, said the extreme weather is proof of a climate emergency.

A group of people enjoying a drink in the sun whilst at The Brewery Tap, Leeds as temperatures hit 36 degrees last month

A group of people enjoying a drink in the sun whilst at The Brewery Tap, Leeds as temperatures hit 36 degrees last month

He said: "It is exactly what we expect from our climate change research, the UK is getting hotter and you can see that in the Met Office report.

"The world has warmed about one degree - it doesn't sound much, but it has a big effect on how often we have these extreme temperatures.

"There is a lot of uncertainty around measuring climate change, but what we do know is that rainfall has increased in the UK, causing flooding like we've seen in Yorkshire.

"It's going to get worse and we have to adapt quickly."

Data from Crowther Lab shows that by 2050, the climate of Leeds will be more similar to that of current-day Melbourne.

Temperatures could rise by two degrees celsius on average and we could have a blazing hot summer like 2018 every other year.

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Dr Marsham added: "2050 isn't that far away. What we do in the next 10 years is critical to avoid catastrophic climate change.

"We have to halve emissions by improving public transport and home energy use.

"We also need to change our diets away from too much meat and dairy.

"Very often people assume this is all negative change, but it's changes you can do anyway to save a lot of money, such as insulating your homes.

"These are win-win situations and it's the rapid action that's needed."

The Met Office has issued another weather warning for Sunday as more thunderstorms and flooding could hit Yorkshire.

They warn that flash flooding could lead to difficult driving conditions and some road closures.

Homes or businesses could be flooded or damaged by lightning strikes.

-> The most shocking pictures as extreme weather causes floods across Yorkshire