2022 was warmest year in history: Met Office says average temperature topped 10C for first time since records began

5 January 2023, 09:46 | Updated: 5 January 2023, 12:13

Last year was the warmest on record
Last year was the warmest on record. Picture: Getty

By Kit Heren

Last year was the warmest on record for the UK, official figures show.

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The average temperature across the whole of 2022 was slightly above 10C, beating the previous highest of 9.88C in 2014, the Met Office said.

That means 15 of the UK's top 20 warmest years on record have all taken place this century - with the entire top ten within the past 20 years.

All four individual nations within the UK also set their own new temperature records in 2022.

England had the highest average temperature at 10.94C, followed by Wales (10.23C), Northern Ireland (9.85C) and Scotland (8.50C).

This year was the warmest on record
2022 was the warmest on record. Picture: Getty
People ride in pedal boats on the Serpentine lake in Hyde Park.
People ride in pedal boats on the Serpentine lake in Hyde Park. Picture: Getty

2022 also saw the mercury reach its highest-ever level in the UK, with a temperature of 40.3C recorded in Lincolnshire on July 19.

The UK had two separate "lethally hot" heatwaves over the summer, in July and August, with warnings of the possibility of thousands of excess deaths.

The Met Office warned at the time of "adverse health effects" for people more vulnerable to extreme heat, and warned of a general risk to people including sunburn or heat exhaustion.

Farmers suffered drought because of the lack of rainfall
Farmers suffered drought because of the lack of rainfall. Picture: Getty

Weather experts also warned that the UK could see an extreme heatwave every three years, after record-breaking temperatures caused wildfires and travel chaos across the nation on Tuesday.

Four-day amber warning for extreme temperatures issued as new heatwave looms

Met Office Chief of Science and Technology, Professor Stephen Belcher, said he had not been "expecting to see [temperatures of 40C in the UK] in his career", adding it is "a real reminder that the climate has changed and will continue to change".

"If we continue under a high-emission scenario, we could see temperatures like this every three years," he said.

Meanwhile 2022 also saw sparked the busiest day for firefighters in the capital since World War Two with a huge blaze burning down several houses in east London on July 20.

Extent of damage done by fires in Dagenham seen after record-breaking heatwave

Footage from the scene shows destroyed houses and scorched land in near-apocalyptic scenes in Dagenham.

Read more: Street like a 'warzone': Shocking clip shows aftermath of wildfire in London

Read more: Warning 'lethally hot' heatwave could be worse than July's 40C record-breaking weather

One local resident who filmed the clip can be heard comparing the scene of devastation to a "f***ing warzone".

The blaze affected a number of buildings and left a man and woman in hospital due to smoke inhalation.

London Mayor Sadiq Khan said that a total of 41 properties had been destroyed by fires in the capital in the heatwave.

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