Key stats from the Met Office State Of The UK Climate 2022 report

The PA news agency looks at some of the headline figures of what was a milestone year in marking the UK’s changing climate.

Last year’s extreme heat is an example of what we can expect to see in future unless greenhouse gas emissions are controlled, the Met Office has said.

Temperatures rising beyond 40C, repeated and intense heatwaves, grassfires, summer droughts, downpours and rising sea levels will increase in frequency and severity, with 2022 seeming like a cool year compared with what it will be in 2100 if current emissions levels are not lowered.

The PA news agency looks at some of the key stats of the new Met Office State Of The UK Climate 2022 report showing how the country is becoming hotter and wetter than in the 20th century.

– 2022 was the warmest year on record in the UK, being 0.9C above the 1991-2020 average. It was also the first year when the annual mean temperature exceeded 10C.

– 40.3C, recorded at Coningsby, Lincolnshire, on July 19, was the highest temperature ever recorded in the UK.

Hottest days on record
Temperatures exceeding 40C will occur more frequently in future as the climate warms, scientists have said (Met Office/PA graphic)

– Winter, spring, summer and autumn in 2022 all ranked among the top 10 warmest seasons since 1884.

– All the top 10 warmest years for the UK since 1884 have all occurred in the 21st century.

– The last decade (2013-2022) was 0.3C warmer than the 1991-2020 average and 1.1C warmer than 1961-1990. It is the warmest 10-year period on record since 1659.

– Also in that decade there were 4-7% fewer days of air and ground frost than the 1991-2020 average and 15-23% fewer than 1961-1990.

– 2022 was also the warmest year since 1870 for sea surface temperature.

Global average temperature
The global average temperature has risen rapidly in recent decades (Met Office/PA graphic)

– Sea levels around the UK have risen by around 18.5cm since the 1900s, 11.4cm of which occurred in the last 30 years. The rate of sea level rise has doubled compared with the 20th century.

– A warm February meant flowers and insects emerged one-10 days earlier than the 1999-2020/21 average.

– Throughout the year, leaves stayed on trees seven-16 days longer than the 1999-2021 average because of warmer seasons either side of summer.

– Rainfall across 2022 was 94% of the 1991–2020 average.

– Five of the 10 wettest years for the UK since 1836 have occurred in the 21st century.

– Between 2013-2022, UK winters were 10% wetter than the 1991-2020 average and 25% wetter than 1961-1990.

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