Record 2022 temperatures will be average for UK by 2060: Met Office

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The searing temperatures experienced in Britain in 2022, when the country recorded its hottest day on record, will be considered average by 2060 and ‘cool’ by the end of the century, the Met Office national weather service said on Thursday.

Temperatures exceeded 40C in Britain in July last year for the first time, and the Met Office said 2022 was the warmest year since records began in 1884 for the United Kingdom and since 1659 in its Central England Temperature series.

“In terms of weather and climate, 2022 was an extraordinary year for the UK,” Mike Kendon from the Met Office’s National Climate Information Centre said.

“The observations show that extremes of temperature are changing faster than the average, and as our climate warms, we expect far more high temperature records to be broken, potentially by wide margins, and far fewer low temperature records.”

The Met Office said its studies found both the record warm year and 2022’s July heat wave were made more likely by human-induced climate change.

In its ‘State of the UK climate’ report, the Met Office predicted that in a medium emissions scenario, by 2060, a year like 2022 would be considered an average year and by 2100, it would be considered a ‘cool’ year.

“2022 is a potential warning of what we should expect in the future,” Kendon said.

The 2013-2022 period was the warmest decade on record in the UK, the Met Office said.

The report also found the sea level around the UK has risen around 18.5 cm since the 1900s, with 11.4cm of that happening over the past 30 years.