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Met Office declares 2022 UK's hottest year with average annual temperature tipping 10C for the first time

The UK has recorded an average annual temperature of more than 10C for the very first time.

Met Office scientists say they believe 'human induced climate change' contributed to 2022 being the hottest year on record.

A record 10.03C has been logged as the full annual mean temperature for the country last year - making it the highest among records that date back to 1884. This made the year 0.89°C above the 1991-2020 average and 0.15C higher than the previous record of 9.88C set in 2014.

2022 was officially the hottest year on record
2022 was officially the hottest year on record

A study conducted by the weather centre has shown that what would have been around a 1-in-500 year annual temperature in a natural climate where human influences are removed, is now likely to be seen every three to four years in the current climate.

And while early announcements declared that 2022 would be the hottest year on record - full data for the last 12 months means forecasters can now confirm it.

Met Office climate attribution scientist, Dr Nikos Christidis, explained: "To assess the impact of human induced climate change on the record-breaking year of 2022, we used climate models to compare the likelihood of a UK mean temperature of 10C in both the current climate and with historical human climate influences removed.

"The results showed that recording 10C in a natural climate would occur around once every 500 years, whereas in our current climate it could be as frequently as once every three to four years.

"We also used climate models to project how often this sort of temperature could be recorded in the future. It was possible to calculate that by the end of the century, under a medium emissions scenario (SSP2-4.5), a UK average temperature of 10°C could occur almost every year."

Human-induced climate change has made high annual temperatures more likely says the Met Office
Human-induced climate change has made high annual temperatures more likely says the Met Office

The Met Office annual global temperature forecast for 2023 also points to this year being one of the Earth’s hottest years on record.

The average global temperature for 2023 is forecast to be between 1.08C and 1.32C above the average for the pre-industrial period (1850-1900) making it the tenth year in a row that temperatures have reached at least 1C above pre-industrial levels.

Dr Nick Dunstone from the Met Office, who has led the 2023 worldwide forecast, said: "The global temperature over the last three years has been influenced by the effect of a prolonged La Niña – where cooler than average sea-surface temperatures occur in the tropical Pacific. La Niña has a temporary cooling effect on global average temperature.

"Our climate model is indicating an end to the three consecutive years with La Niña state with a return to relative warmer conditions in parts of the tropical Pacific. This shift is likely to lead to global temperature in 2023 being warmer than 2022."

Europe is currently experiencing a record-breaking warm winter
Europe is currently experiencing a record-breaking warm winter

Last summer a new record-high temperature of 40.3°C was declared in July in Coningsby, Lincolnshire. The extreme temperatures were recorded as the UK experienced 'an unprecedented heatwave' with the previous UK temperature record of 38.7°C met or exceeded at 46 stations, from Kent to North Yorkshire and from Suffolk to Warwickshire.

While the New Year has already brought with it a warm winter for Europe which has forced ski slopes to close this month and tourist resorts to shut down altogether to visitors because of a lack of snow.

Grass and mud has replaced the white stuff in places including Chamonix in France and Innsbruck in Austria with eight countries across the continent so far recording their warmest January ever.