The Met Office has used a parody weather forecast set almost 40 years in the future to issue a stark climate change warning.
A video posted on Twitter predicts highs of 40C on the first Saturday of Wimbledon “in 2059” and overnight temperatures in the mid-20s.
The Met Office said the video was not a real forecast but contained examples of “plausible” weather based on climate projections.
Meteorologist Aiden McGivern describes a “thrilling first week at Wimbledon” but says a daytime temperature averaging 32C is “beginning to take its toll on players”.
He says highs of 40C are expected and predicts “uncomfortable” nights with overnight temperatures exceeding 20C, before breaking character.
“Thankfully this isn’t a real forecast,” he says.
“But it is one scenario of how a summer heatwave could affect the UK in 40 years time.
“These are words that express uncertainty, but don’t let that lull you into a false sense of security – much of the uncertainty is because the climate in the 2050s depends partly on how we reduce global greenhouse emissions in the years to come.”
Mr McGivern adds the Wimbledon 2059 forecast was based on a “high emissions scenario” to illustrate the effect on weather patterns if more work is not done to curb emissions.
He warns that across the world millions of people will be exposed to “dangerous levels of heat” on a daily basis.
It comes as the All England Club (AELTC) – in partnership with the Met Office, the BBC and the Cop26 climate conference – announced July 1 as Environment Day at the world-famous tennis championship in SW19.
Guests invited to the Royal Box include environmental campaigners, Cop26 representatives and celebrities such as Bear Grylls.
Wimbledon chief executive Sally Bolton said: “We believe that the AELTC and the championships have a meaningful role to play in helping to protect the environment, today and for the future.
“Changes to our climate are accelerating and we have a responsibility to play our part, mitigating our own impacts, ensuring we have a climate resilient estate for the future and using our influence to support this important cause.”