The Met Office has confirmed 2022 will be the warmest year on record for the UK. According to provisional figures, every month was hotter than average except for December, when the UK experienced a cold snap.
Back in 2014, a new record was set with an average temperature of 9.88C for the year, but this year’s average temperature should surpass the record set eight years ago. The rise in the average temperature is being attributed to climate change.
Speaking to the BBC, Dr Mark McCarthy, a senior climate scientist at the Met Office, said the provisional figures are in line with the "genuine impacts we expect as a result of human-induced climate change".
"Although it doesn’t mean every year will be the warmest on record, climate change continues to increase the chances of increasingly warm years over the coming decades," Dr McCarthy added.
The UK also endured a number of heatwaves across June and July in the most recent summer. Records were smashed as temperatures across some parts of the UK exceeded 40C for the first time on record.
During the intense heat in July, the Met Office issued its first ever red warning for extreme heat. The temperatures seen in mid-July would have been "extremely unlikely in the pre-industrial period - the era before humanity started emitting lots of greenhouse gases," Dr McCarthy explained.
"As we have seen in the first two weeks of December, our climate is still subject to notable cold spells during the winter season, but our observational data show these have generally become less frequent and less severe as our climate warms," he said.
It’s been a year of extreme weather in the UK. Back in February, Storms Eunice, Franklin and Dudley all hit within a week - the first time since naming storms was introduced in 2015. The storms caused widespread damage with schools and shops closing, and buildings such as the O2 being badly damaged.
Just months later, a record high temperature of 40.3C was recorded at Coningsby in Lincolnshire on 19 July, 2022. The period of extensive heat led to a drought being declared in large parts of England in August, as low-water levels and tinder-dry conditions gripped the UK.
Despite November generally being a cold month, it was almost 2C above average this year, and the third warmest November in recorded history. The only time the penultimate month of the year was warmer than 2022 was in 2006 and 2011.
And, despite 2022 being the warmest on record, 2023 is set to be even hotter. Predictions suggest it will be the tenth year in a row that the global temperature is at least 1°C above average.