UK weather – Britain’s 10 hottest years have all been since 2002 as heatwaves become ’30 times more likely’

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Britain’s 10 hottest years on record have all occurred since 2002, the Met Office has revealed.

Analysts also confirmed that none of the 10 coldest years have occurred since 1963, showing how the country is getting warmer and warmer.

Getty – Contributor

Music lovers enjoy the sun at Bestival in 2014 – the hottest year on record[/caption]

The Met Office’s latest annual state of the climate report measure temperatures going back to the 19th century.

Dr Mark McCarthy, head of the Met Office’s national climate information centre, said: “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.

“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.”

The records now show 1892 as the coldest year, with the average temperature of just over 7C.

The warmest year was 2014, with an average temperature approaching 10C.

Hottest 10 years in UK history

  1. 2014
  2. 2006
  3. 2011
  4. 2007
  5. 2017
  6. 2003
  7. 2018
  8. 2004
  9. 2002
  10. 2005

Coldest 10 years in UK history

  1. 1892
  2. 1888
  3. 1885
  4. 1963
  5. 1919
  6. 1886
  7. 1917
  8. 1909
  9. 1887
  10. 1962

The annual report shows that 2018 joined the top 10 warmest years at number seven, despite the severe “beast from the East” cold snap early in the year.

The cold weather saw the UK having the most significant snowfall since 2010 last year.

In a year of extremes, the UK also saw a heatwave last summer, which the experts said was made 30 times more likely by climate change, and the season was the equal-hottest summer on record along with 2006.

Dr Michael Byrne from the University of St Andrews, said it was “hugely significant, though not surprising” the UK’s top 10 warmest years had occurred since 2002 and summer 2018 was the joint-hottest ever.

He 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.”

A Government spokeswoman: “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.”

Getty Images – Getty

Children make the most of the sea in Blackpool in 2006 – the second-hottest year on record[/caption]

Getty Images – Getty

People queue for ice cream in Polzeath, Cornwall, in 2011 – the UK’s third hottest ever year[/caption]


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