The meteorological stereotype of the northern half of Britain is that it is colder and wetter than the south, with cities like Manchester being famous for rain and Scotland assumed by many to be almost permanently engulfed by swirling mountain mist.
Of course, such ‘grim up north’ stereotypes are far from accurate, but there has been a certain kernel of truth in them as the northern half of the UK does tend to have more precipitation, not least as it has far more high ground of hills and mountains.
However, as the BBC reports, so far this year the situation looks rather different, with the weather being drier the further north you live and the wettest in the southernmost parts.
This means that while some rivers in the south are high or very high, up in the north they are low and in Scotland there are some exceptionally low river levels.
It may not quite mean that Loch Ness will dry up and reveal where Nessie has been hiding all this time, despite a claim to that effect by the Daily Record, but rivers across the Highlands are at very low and in some cases record low levels.
All this has been exacerbated by the recent hot and dry weather, which suggests there could be a full-on drought in much of the country and northerners in particular may be working up a sweat.
If so, it means it could be that the need for cooling showers is greater in Carlisle and Cumbernauld than in Colchester or Canterbury.
Of course, the hot and sunny weather is not good news for everyone; the UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology has warned that crop yields may be affected by dry conditions, and north Wales-based farmer Llŷr Jones told the BBC a barley crop planted in April was only saved from failure by a sudden thunderstorm in the last few days.
He remarked: “You get to a point where there's nothing else you can do but desperately hope for rain to save the crops.”
For anyone deeply concerned about climate change, this summer may be a further warning of the consequences of failing to nurture and preserve the natural environment through our everyday activities.
If you agree that part of that process is moving towards a meat-free diet, such action can be more effective if there are more ways in which you can apply it to your life. That means by doing so when showering as well as at mealtimes, you can take a step forward in this regard - as well as smelling and feeling fresher no matter how hot and sweaty the weather may get.
Simply having a shower can also be a good way of conserving resources. As Checkatrade notes, the average bath contains 80 litres of water, whereas an eight-minute shower will use 62. So unless you like spending a long time in there, a shower will use less.
You may think your individual efforts will not solve all of Britain’s or the world’s ecological problems. But it can ensure you are part of the solution, not part of the problem.
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