Hottest weather during June in the UK kills fish and endangers insects

Environment groups have warned that the hottest June on record in the United Kingdom caused unprecedented deaths of fish in rivers and disturbed insects and vegetation.

The Wildlife Trusts have stated that nature is "being pummeled by extreme weather with no chance of recovery." Monday evening, the Met Office will announce whether the elevated temperatures were caused by climate change. In some areas, the demand for water increased by 25% during peak hours, according to Water UK.

The sources reported last week that, according to preliminary data for June, both the overall average and average maximum temperatures were the highest on record. As the river levels drop, there is less oxygen in the water, which is a contributing factor in the deaths. In addition, fish are killed when the pollutants left behind by cars and lorries driving on roads are washed into rivers during flash floods.

According to the Environment Agency, they have received more reports of fish that have died compared to this time last year. There are a variety of circumstances that can lead to the death of large numbers of fish, including low water levels, pollution, and disease.

Ali Morse, who works for the Wildlife Trusts, informed various sites that the high temperatures caused a number of flowering plants, including orchids, to wilt. This means that insects like bees and butterflies, which subsist on nectar and pollen from flowering plants, will have less food available to them.

Species that have a relatively short lifespan will suffer the most severe consequences. The population of many species of butterflies can be significantly reduced if the adults are unable to obtain food during the brief time that they are mature. According to Ms. Morse, these implications are even more startling when one considers the wet and cold spring that occurred sooner than they did the previous year. The environment and water resources in the UK are coming under increasing strain as warm weather continues to become both more common and more extreme.

People also use more water inside their homes when the temperature outside is higher. According to Water UK, water companies delivered 1.2 billion liters more water during the months of July and August in 2020 than they did during the same months in 2021. There is a prohibition on the use of hosepipes in the areas of Devon, Cornwall, and other portions of the south-east of England.

The rivers and reservoirs that supply a significant portion of the United Kingdom's drinking water are reportedly in a healthier state now compared to the same point in time the previous year. However, the dry weather is expected to have an effect on water supplies, and if the warm weather persists, those supplies might be drained in a relatively short amount of time.

Homeowners and business owners are being urged by Water UK to "continue to save water in order to help safeguard against potential future drought conditions." According to Ms. Morse, people may help nature better resist the effects of high heat by taking very modest and inconspicuous steps on their own. She recommends letting even little portions of lawn grow higher since longer grass is more resistant to heat and gives species a much-needed habitat to thrive in.