Climate Action

Met Office: Increasing influence of climate change on UK climate

The six report from the Met Office titled, the State of the UK Climate, confirms that 2019 was the 12th warmest year since 1884.

  • 14 August 2020
  • Joana Costa Figueira

The six report from the Met Office titled,  the State of the UK Climate, confirms that 2019 was the 12th warmest year since 1884.

The report published at the end of July, has found that on average, the most recent decade (2010-2019) was 0.9C warmer across the UK than the 1961-1900 period. 2019 was found to be 1.1C above the 1961-1990 long-term average.

2019 was the year for setting records including: a new high temperature (38.7C in July) in Cambridge; a new winter record (21.1C in February) in London; a new December record (18.7C) in Sutherland. The new winter record was the first time 20C had been reached in the UK in a winter month. February still managed to get a new minimum record of 13.9C in Highland.

Mike Kendon is the lead author of the report for the Met Office. He said: “Our report shows climate change is exerting an increasing impact on the UK’s climate. This year was warmer than any other year in the UK between 1884 and 1990, and since 2002 we have seen the warmest ten years in the series. By contrast, to find a year in the coldest ten we have to go back to 1963; over 50 years ago.”

The Central England Temperature series dates back to 1659 and is the longest instrumental record of temperature in the world, recording annual, seasonal and average monthly temperatures.

Kendon added: “The Central England mean temperature for the period of 2001-2019 has been 10.3C. The remaining averages in the series are: 1901-2000 (9.5C); 1801-1900 (9.1C); 1701-1800 (9.2C); 1659-1700 (8.7C).

Dr. Mark McCarthy, head of the Met Office’s National Climate Information Centre, said: “The climate statistics over time reveal an undeniable warming trend for the UK,” concluding that the changing temperatures are due to both global climate change and the natural variability in our climate.

Rainfall across the UK has also increased. 2019 saw a total rainfall of 1,227mm, 107 percent of the 1981-2010 average and 112 percent of the 1962-1990 average. The exception to this were part of East Anglia and the Home Counties, western and northern Scotland and Shetland.

Dr Mark McCarthy said that 2019 “was a particularly wet year across part of cent and northern England which received between a quarter to one third more rainfall than normal.” He continued by saying that “for northern England, this was the ninth wettest year in a series from 1862.”

The State of the UK Climate Report is compiled by the Met Office and published in Royal Meteorological Society’s International Journal of Climatology.

Professor Liz Bently, Chief Executive of the Royal Meteorological Society, said: “the reports provide an important record of the weather and climate in the UK each year, highlighting both short and long-term trends of what has actually happened and how our climate is changing.”

Read the full report here.