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UK average annual temperature was 10C or more for first time in 2022, Met Office says | Climate News

The UK recorded an average annual temperature of more than 10C (50F) for the first time in 2022, the Met Office has said.

The national weather service also said 2022 was the country’s hottest on record, confirming provisional figures that the year would set a new record.

The mean temperature across the 12 months was 10.03C, beating the previous all-time high of 9.88C in 2014.

The hot temperatures fuelled prolonged drought, threatened crops and drove hundreds of excess deaths.

Such a freakishly hot year is now likely to happen every three to four years, the analysis warned. Whereas once it would have struck just once in 500 years, had humans not polluted and warmed the climate.

Met Office Climate Attribution Scientist, Dr Nikos Christidis, said a UK average temperature of 10C “could occur almost every year” by the end of this century, if the planet warms by around 2.7C as is currently projected.

It means all the top 10 warmest years since records began in 1884 have occurred in just the past two decades.

That is why Dr Mark McCarthy, head of the Met Office National Climate Information Centre, said the news about 2022 “comes as no surprise”.

Even the notable cold spell in December did not dent last year’s record average temperature. In fact, there hasn’t been a top ten coldest year in 60 years, and most of them fell before 1920.

Read more: Why is it so cold, even though climate change is making the world hotter?

Scores of other records were smashed all around the globe last year, which also saw Europe’s worst drought in 500 years, savage heat in India, and multibillion dollar losses from Hurricane Ian in Florida and from flooding in Pakistan.

Burning fossil fuels, intensive animal farming and slashing down forests are contributing to the rising global temperature, which in turn is driving costly, violent and extreme weather.

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Ski slopes in the Alps are facing a snow shortage as warm January weather breaks records across Europe.

All four UK nations set new records in 2022, with England seeing the highest average temperature at 10.94C, followed by Wales (10.23C), Northern Ireland (9.85C) and Scotland (8.50C).

The year saw temperatures reach their highest ever in the country, with the mercury reaching 40.3C (104.5F) in Lincolnshire on 19 July.

Watch the Daily Climate Show at 3.30pm Monday to Friday, and The Climate Show with Tom Heap on Saturday and Sunday at 3.30pm and 7.30pm.

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