Met Office's ominous weather outlook as 2022 named hottest UK year on record

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Met Office
Met Office's ominous weather outlook as 2022 named hottest UK year on record

The Met Office has revealed the UK recorded an annual average temperature of more than 10C for the first time, as it confirmed 2022 as the hottest year on record.

Top meteorologists pointed toward climate change as the driving force behind the temperatures last year, which saw over 40C recorded in the country for the first time.

All of England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland recorded a record-breaking average temperature in 2022.

Figures were also the highest on record for the Central England Temperature (CET), which has been recorded since 1659.

At 11.1C it is only the second time in history the record documented an average temperature above 11C.

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Dr Mark McCarthy, head of the Met Office National Climate Information Centre, said: "Although an arbitrary number, the UK surpassing an annual average temperature of 10C is a notable moment in our climatological history.

Met Office's ominous weather outlook as 2022 named hottest UK year on recordThe UK saw temperatures of over 40C for the first time last year (James Linsell-Clark/ SWNS)

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

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

An attribution study conducted by Met Office scientists indicated "the UK’s record-breaking annual temperature" was now "around 160 times more likely".

"It is now possible to confirm that 2022 was the UK’s hottest year on record, with an average temperature of over 10°C recorded for the first time," they said.

Met Office's ominous weather outlook as 2022 named hottest UK year on record"This moment comes as no surprise," McCarthy said (Press Association Images)

The study suggested that in a natural climate where "human climate influences are removed", the temperatures seen last year would be a one-in-500-year event.

Now, they said, it is likely once every three or four years.

McCarthy added: "Even with the influence of climate change we don’t expect every year to be the hottest on record from now on.

Met Office's ominous weather outlook as 2022 named hottest UK year on recordNot every year will be the hottest on record from now on, the Met Office predicted, but higher temperatures are more likely (Getty Images)

"Natural variability of the UK climate means there will always be some variation year to year, however looking at longer-term trends it is easy to pick out the influence climate change is having over time."

Last year was the highest average temperature since records began in 1884 and was 0.89C above the 1991-2020 average. It was also 0.15C higher than the previous record set in 2014.

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Met Office's ominous weather outlook as 2022 named hottest UK year on record2022 saw the highest temperatures since records began in 1884 (Getty Images)

Met Office Climate Attribution Scientist, Dr Nikos Christidis, said the results showed that the "UK average temperature of 10C could occur almost every year" by the end of the century.

This is under a model of a 'medium emissions scenario' also known as 'SSP2-4.5.' This is one of five possible scenarios published by the UN climate panel report published in August 2021.

In this "middle of the road" scenario, temperatures rise by 2.7C by the end of the century.

Under the legally binding Paris Agreement adopted in 2016, plans are to try and limit global warming to 1.5 degrees.

Benjamin Lynch

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