UK climate getting warmer and wetter, says Met Office
A report examining weather extremes found that the UK’s warm spells between 2008 and 2017 were twice as long as they were between 1961 and 1990.
And our hottest days are an average of 0.8C (33F) warmer than the hottest days between 1961 and 1990.
On the other hand, our coldest days are 1.7C (35F) milder than they were between 1961 and 1990.
Dr Mark McCarthy, head of the Met Office’s National Climate Information Centre which produced the report, said: “Minimum overnight temperatures of over 20C (68F) in the UK are rare currently and even during this summer this threshold was only exceeded on a few occasions.
“However, with projections in climate suggesting warmer temperatures, it is useful to have this metric in place, so that future changes can be monitored.”
Tropical nights – where temperatures stay above 20C (68F) – are still rare and only really started to be noticed around 1995 but they are likely to become more common in the future.
Between 2008 and last year, a number of tropical nights were seen in the south east, the Midlands and south Wales.
Our weather is also getting wetter, with 17% more extremely wet days between 2008 and 2017 compared to 1961-1990.
Dr McCarthy said: “Monthly, seasonal and annual climate data provide a valuable record of the changing climate in the UK.
“However, these average figures have a tendency to mask extreme weather and climate events.”
Last month, a landmark UN report said countries must take “unprecedented” action to slash carbon emissions to zero by 2050 and limit global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change warned that increased global warming would lead to droughts, flooding and extreme heat becoming more frequent.
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