Tracking our changing climate with Earth observations

The Met Office has launched a Global Climate Dashboard, aimed at helping decision makers during Cop26.

This public site collates climate data from around the world and displays the information all in one place.

The global climate dashboard is the result of a number of continuing projects to present clearly and simply how climate change is affecting the planet and its inhabitants.

Earth observations all in one place

The information gathered is based on earth observations made at surface stations, by ships and buoys at sea, from satellites and by observers and research teams around the world. These earth observing networks are crucial for understanding the changing climate.

But don't take our word for it... the figures are now at your fingertips... explore for yourself and give the Met Office some feedback!

There is a section of the dashboard looking at 'Global Climate Extremes'

It shows how extreme weather is changing in character, with warm nights becoming more frequent, daily rainfall more intense, and warm spells lasting for longer.

What has it shown us?

  • Warmer days

The number of warm days averaged over the globe has increased by around 20 days per year (in the most recent decade when compared to the 1970s).

The number of days during a warm spell has increased by around 10 days.

  • Warmer nights

The number of cool nights has dropped by around 20 days per year (compared to the 1970s), while the global average number of warm nights has increased by around 30 nights since the middle of the 20th century.

  • Not as cold when it's cold!

Even when we get a cold night, it's not as cold as it used to be.

Coldest nights have become 4°C warmer compared to the beginning of the century.

Warmest nights have become more than 0.5 °C warmer over the same period.

This new dashboard (which includes information from the Met Office State of the UK Climate report) shows that changes in UK climate have been broadly consistent with those seen globally.

The Met Office has produced a graphic showing the state of the UK climate in 2020. Credit: Met Office
  • A warmer UK

The most recent decade has been 1.1 °C warmer than the thirty year period 1961 to 90 long term average.

All of the top 10 warmest years since 1884 have occurred this century with all of the top 10 coldest years occurring before the 21st century.

  • A wetter UK

Warmer air holds more moisture.

The increase in the total annual precipitation is over 50mm since the beginning of the 20th century.

The decade from 2011 to 2020 on average was 9% wetter than 1961 to 1990. Over the same period, UK winters were 19% wetter and UK summers 17% wetter.