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Official figures show 2014 was warmest year since records began

Things are hotting up for the UK, as official figures show 2014 was the warmest year since records began.

Provisional results from the Met Office for the whole year show the mercury hit an average of 9.9C (49.8F) - around 1.1C (2F) above the usual average, making it the warmest year since the record was founded in 1910.

A rainbow over Tynemouth Longsands on the Northumberland coast. Credit: PA

And for central England, a separate set of records known as the Central England Temperature Series date back to 1659, and show 2014 was the warmest in more than 450 years.

Despite no individual month breaking any records, most months measured in consistently warmer than usual, the Met Office said.

People enjoy the warm weather in Worthing in Sussex. Credit: PA

But the rising temperature gauge was not enough to stave off the rain, with 2014 also coming in as the fourth wettest year since the 1910 records were set up.

Forecasters say the results mean that eight of the UK's top 10 warmest years have occurred since 2002 - and form a pattern which experts fear could indicate the problem of climate change is worse than is widely believed.

Each month was consistently warmer than average Credit: PA

Bob Ward, from the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics (LSE), called on the government to do more to increase awareness.

This is clear evidence of the impact of man-made climate change on the UK.

However, the latest assessment by the independent Committee on Climate Change shows that the UK public is largely unaware of how climate change is affecting their exposure and vulnerability to extreme weather events.

The lack of awareness of the UK public of how climate change is already affecting them represents a colossal failure by the Government and its agencies, including the Environment Agency and the Met Office, to communicate with the public about this issue.

– Bob Ward, London School of Economics
Experts fear the rising temperatures are part of a bigger pattern Credit: PA

Across the UK, the provisional results show it was the warmest year on record for England, Wales and Scotland, and the third warmest year for Northern Ireland, behind 2007 and 2006.

The number of air frosts in the UK was also the lowest since 1961.