The ten warmest years on record in the UK have all occurred since 2002 according to the Met Office, highlighting the impact of climate change.
The latest State of the UK Climate report revealed a worrying trend that the ten hottest years recorded in this country have all been in the past 18 years, despite the data going back to 1884 – a total of 135 years. Analysts of the data also found that the most recent year to be in the top ten coldest years on record was back in 1963, further highlighting the dangerous trend of global warming.
“Looking back further into the UK’s weather reveals a very interesting timeline with the top ten warmest years at the most recent end, since 2002,” said Dr Mark McCarthy, head of the Met Office’s National Climate Information Centre. “Extending the record back by 26 years from 1910 to 1884 didn’t bring in any new warm years, but it did bring in a number of new cold years, including several that are now within the top ten coldest years.
“Notably, 1892 is the coldest year in the series, when the average temperature was just over seven degrees. By contrast 2014, which was the warmest year in the series, saw an average temperature approaching ten degrees Celsius.”
Dr Michael Byrne, a lecturer in Earth & Environmental Sciences at the University of St Andrews, said: “The world has warmed 1C since pre-industrial times, meaning that hot years are the new normal. Not only is the UK getting warmer, but also wetter, with 13% more summer rain compared to last century.
“With global emissions of greenhouse gases on the rise, the UK will continue to get warmer and wetter as global warming accelerates. The science of climate change is now clear. The UK government must ramp up preparations and ensure that our infrastructure and citizens are prepared for what is to come.”
The growing temperatures in the UK highlights the need for the country’s transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy. Just last month, the UK government pledged to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. And earlier this week, broadband provider Virgin Media joined other firms by pledging to use 100% renewable electricity by next year.
A spokesperson for the government said: “The impact of climate change is clear and demands urgent action, which is why we are the first major economy to legislate for net zero emissions and eliminate our contribution to global warming by 2050. We’ve seen first-hand the effect climate change is having on our environment, and we share people’s passion to tackle this issue and protect our planet for future generations.”
The 10 hottest years on record in the UK are:
The 10 coldest years on record in the UK are: