Climate change ‘drives extreme weather in UK’


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A record temperature of 38.7 ° C (101.7 ° F) was recorded at the University of Cambridge Botanic Garden in July 2019

Industrial society-induced climate change is having a growing impact on the climate in the UK, according to the Met Office.

Its UK annual report confirms that 2019 was the 12th hottest year in a series dating back to 1884.

While not in the top 10, the report says 2019 has been remarkable for record high temperatures in the UK.

There was also a strong variation in the weather between the wet winter and the sunny spring.

The extreme temperatures were:

  • A new high in the United Kingdom (38.7 ° C) on July 25 in Cambridge
  • A new winter high (21.2 ° C) on February 26 at Kew Gardens, London – the first time 20 ° C has been reached in the UK in winter
  • A new December high (18.7 ° C) on December 28, in Achfary, Sutherland
  • A new February minimum record (13.9 ° C) on February 23, in Achnagart, Highland

No national record for low temperatures has been set in the UK State Climate Report, published by the Royal Meteorological Society.

It shows that temperatures in the UK in 2019 were 1.1 ° C above the long-term average of 1961-1990.

Mike Kendon, lead author of the report, said: “Our report shows that climate change is having an increasing impact on the UK.

“This year has been warmer than any other year in the UK between 1884 and 1990, and to find a year in the coldest 10 we have to go back to 1963.”

The Central England Temperature series is the longest instrumental temperature record in the world, dating back to 1659.

Dr Mark McCarthy of the Met Office added that it was a particularly wet year in parts of central and northern England.

He said Lincolnshire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Cheshire had received between a quarter and a third of more precipitation than normal. For northern England, it was the ninth wettest year in a series from 1862.

He said: “It should be noted that since 2009 the UK has had its wettest February, April, June, November and December on record – five out of 12 months.”

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AFP / Getty Images


Rescuers used boats to reach those trapped in Rotherham as days of persistent rain led to nearly 50 flood warnings across England in November 2019

Hannah Cloke, professor of hydrology at the University of Reading, identified a number of worrying trends.

She said: “Besides the extremely hot temperatures, the most significant weather events of 2019 were the many types of flooding, causing millions of pounds of damage and causing misery to many people.

“The picture that emerges is of the multiple flood threats facing the UK, many of which are exacerbated by climate change.”

She cited as examples summer flash floods caused by extreme downpours, extensive river flooding in the fall and winter caused by persistent heavy rains and storms, and a backdrop of continuously rising sea levels increasing the sea level. risk of coastal flooding.

Professor Ilan Kelman, of University College London, said the heat would become a growing problem.

He said: ‘These UK records show that if we do nothing to stop climate change, we are on the right track for the summer heat and humidity which would be very dangerous for us to be outside – and to be inside without continuous cooling. ”

Gareth Redmond King of the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said: “These are records that we should not break. Tropical temperatures can be nice on occasion, but here in the UK they are a stark reminder that we are in a climate crisis.

“The whole world must act before the UN climate conference next year; and as hosts we urgently need to raise our ambition if the UK is to show global leadership.

“Right now that means investing in a green recovery in the next budget and spending review, for the good of people and the planet.”

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