Climate: Met Office confirms 2022 as the UK’s hottest year on record

A view of Greenwich Park, London, looking back towards Queen’s House (Picture: PA)

The Met Office confirmed 2022 was Britain’s hottest year ever on record in a sign global warming has impacted our climate.

An average annual temperature of more than 10°C was recorded for the first time last year.

Such a hot year is now likely to happen every three to four years, the analysis said.

Whereas before it would have struck once in 500 years, had humans not warmed the climate.

Dr Mark McCarthy, head of the Met Office’s National Climate Information Centre, stressed this was a ‘notable moment in our climatological history’.

‘Although an arbitrary number, the UK surpassing an annual average temperature of 10°C is a notable moment in our climatological history,’ he said.

‘This moment comes as no surprise. Since 1884 all the 10 years recording the highest annual temperature have occurred from 2003.

The 2022 UK annual mean temperature was 10.03°C, the highest in records dating back to 1884.

This made the year 0.89°C above the 1991-2020 average and 0.15°C higher than the previous record of 9.88°C set in 2014.


— Met Office (@metoffice) January 5, 2023

‘It is clear from the observational record that human-induced global warming is already impacting the UK’s climate.’

Scientists warned that climate change driven by humans has made the country’s record-breaking annual temperature around 160 times more likely to occur.

Data shows the mean temperature across the 12 months was 10.03°C, beating the previous all-time high of 9.88°C in 2014.

This means 15 of the country’s top 20 warmest years on record have all occurred this century.

According to the forecaster, the entire top 10 happened within the past 20 years.

All four nations set new records last year, with England seeing the highest average temperature at 10.94°C.

Wales followed with 10.23°C, Northern Ireland with 9.85°C and Scotland with 8.50°C.

The Met Office has previously warned that summers seeing extreme heatwaves are 30 times more likely now than before the Industrial Revolution – the point when humans starting producing the emissions that are responsible for climate change.

A report on climate extremes in the UK found that recent years have seen both higher maximum temperatures and longer warm spells.

That trend is predicted to continue, and it is possible that by 2100, the UK could see 40°C days every three to four years.

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