Last decade 'second hottest in past century' holding eight high-temperature records

3 January 2020, 09:56

Warm weather set high-temperature records while the Beast from the East caused the coldest March day on record
Warm weather set high-temperature records while the Beast from the East caused the coldest March day on record. Picture: PA

By Megan White

The last decade was the UK’s second hottest in the past century and holds eight high-temperature records, it has been revealed.

The Met Office said that the ten years from 2010 to 2019 had been the second warmest and second wettest in the country over the past 100 years, slightly behind 2000 to 2009.

The 2010s also saw the highest UK daily maximum temperature records set for February, July, October, November and provisionally for December, it added.

In the same period, there was just one low-temperature record, with the Beast from the East in 2018 leading to the coldest March day on record at -4.7C.

Dr Mark McCarthy, head of the National Climate Information Centre, said: "It is notable how many of these extreme records have been set in the most recent decade and how many more of them are reflecting high rather than low-temperature extremes: a consequence of our warming climate.

"We are expecting the warming trend to continue through the 21st century and we would expect these sorts of records subsequently to be broken in the future."

Last year four highest temperature records were set, including the highest winter and summer temperatures, and a potential new December maximum of 18.7C recorded on December 28.

Dr McCarthy said the UK can expect wetter winters and drier summers in the future.

He added: "We have observed a general increase in rainfall in recent decades but that's not evenly distributed so not everyone in the country has experienced this.

"We are expecting to see an increase in winter rainfall, so wetter winters and drier summers - but we could still experience some dry winters and wet summers."

A spokesman for the Government said that climate change was a "national priority" and it is committed to increasing the momentum around environmental action.

He said: "Tackling climate change is a national priority and we are determined to address it.

"We were the first major economy to set out a legally binding target to eliminate our contribution to climate change by 2050, and are the fastest in the G20 to decarbonise since 2000.

"Since 1990, we have reduced our emissions by over 40 per cent while growing the economy by over two thirds.

"But we are determined to do more to increase the momentum and drive ambitious action both in the run up to and at this year's COP26 talks in Glasgow."