climate change

UK’s weather forecaster confirms that 2022 was the hottest-ever year 

A general view of a weir and dried riverbed near the source of the River Thames, in Kemble, in Gloucestershire, UK taken in early August. Photo credit: Reuters / Lucy Marks.

By Anders Lorenzen

In 2022 a series of weather records were broken in the UK by several unrelenting extreme heat events that shocked the country. The UK’s main weather forecaster, the Met Office, has confirmed that 2022 was indeed the warmest year ever experienced on the British Isles since records began.

The preliminary figures released by the agency showed that the year saw both the country’s all-time high temperature as well as being its overall warmest year, with, all four seasons in 2022 being in the top ten warmest seasons since 1884 when records began.

Consistent heat throughout the year

Mark McCarthy, the head of the Met Office’s National Climate Information Centre explained: “While many will remember the summer’s extreme heat, what has been noteworthy this year has been the relatively consistent heat through the year, with every month except December being warmer than average.”

The warmest day was recorded in July when the mercury exceeded 40C, after which  England was forced to declare a drought for the first time since 2018.

Red heat warning

There was also a first-ever red warning for extreme temperatures in July for parts of England ‘where illness and death may occur among the fit and healthy and not just in high-risk groups’. 

Furthermore, the London Fire Brigade had its busiest day since World War two and a major incident was declared in London as hundreds of firefighters battled several wildfires across the capital, ignited by the extreme heat.

At the time the Met Office‘s Chief of Science and Technology Stephen Belcher warned that if we continue under a high emissions scenario, we could see temperatures like this every three years.

Several other countries across the European continent also experienced similar extreme temperatures, including countries used to handle strong heat such as Spain and France.

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