2022 breaks another UK temperature record

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2022 will go down as the UK’s warmest year on record to date, according to preliminary figures from the national weather service Met Office. A record-breaking summer heat wave was the burning icing on the cake of 11 months of unusually hot weather in the UK.

That makes this year the hottest year in the UK since annual records began 139 years ago. Zooming in specifically on England, 2022 will also top the list of warmest years in the world’s oldest instrumental temperature record – the Central England temperature series that began 364 years ago.

Records set this year may not last long

“The warm year is consistent with the real effects we expect from human-induced climate change. While it doesn’t mean every year will be the hottest year on record, climate change continues to increase the likelihood of increasingly hotter years in coming decades,” Mark McCarthy, head of the Met Office National Climate Information Center, said in a press release. Today.

A blistering heat wave in July wreaked havoc on communities accustomed to a milder climate. For the first time, the Met Office issued a “Red Extreme” heat warning for parts of England. Data centers reported “cooling-related” outages. Railroad tracks and an airport runway gave way under the oppressive heat. Firefighters in England and Wales responded to an increase in bushfires caused by the unusually hot, dry weather. In England and Wales there were 3,271 extra deaths during this summer’s heat spell.

The UK hit its highest daily maximum temperature, 40.3 degrees Celsius (104.54 Fahrenheit) in Coningsby, Lincolnshire, on July 19. It would have been “virtually impossible” for the mercury to rise above 40 degrees Celsius in the UK without human-induced climate change, McCarthy said in a July statement.

But even that staggering figure alone wasn’t enough to make it a record year for the UK. “The record-breaking temperatures in July certainly raised overall temperature readings for the year, but that’s not the full story,” McCarthy said in today’s statement.

2022 started with a bang. January 1 was the warmest New Year’s Day on record for the UK, with a temperature of 16.3 degrees Celsius (61.34 degrees Fahrenheit) in St James’s Park in London. In fact, every month this year except December was warmer than average, according to the Met Office. The weather service has a few more days to document before they release a final figure for how warm this year has been. But it is already clear that it has surpassed 2014, when the previous record for the UK’s annual average temperature was set at 9.88 degrees Celsius (49.78 degrees Fahrenheit).

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