Met Office study confirms human influence is the reason for hottest year on UK records

Warm temperatures were experienced throughout the year Credit: Steven Todd

A Met Office Study has confirmed that human influence has made the UK’s record-breaking annual temperature around 160 times more likely.

2022 was the UK’s hottest year on record, with an average temperature of over 10°C recorded for the first time.

Northern Ireland recorded an average temperate of 9.85°C, ahead of the previous record recorded in of 9.77°C in 2007.

The study showed that that what would have been around a 1-in-500 year annual temperature in a natural climate, is now likely every three to four years due to human influences.

Met Office Climate Attribution Scientist, Dr Nikos Christidis, said: “To assess the impact of human induced climate change on the record-breaking year of 2022, we used climate models to compare the likelihood of a UK mean temperature of 10°C in both the current climate and with historical human climate influences removed.

"The results showed that recording 10°C in a natural climate would occur around once every 500 years, whereas in our current climate it could be as frequently as once every three to four years.

“We also used climate models to project how often this sort of temperature could be recorded in the future. It was possible to calculate that by the end of the century, under a medium emissions scenario, a UK average temperature of 10°C could occur almost every year.”

Head of the Met Office National Climate Information Centre, Dr Mark McCarthy, highlighted the development of this trend over recent times.

He said: “This moment comes as no surprise. Since 1884 all the ten 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.

"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.”

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