Britain's Met Office says 2022 set to be UK's warmest yet

FILE PHOTO: A general view of a weir and dried riverbed near the source of the River Thames, in Kemble

LONDON (Reuters) - The year 2022 will be the warmest year on record for the United Kingdom, provisional figures reported by Britain's national weather service on Wednesday showed, after a summer marked by the country's highest recorded temperature.

Aside from the summer peak, the Met Office said all four seasons in Britain in 2022 were in the top ten warmest since records began in 1884.

"While many will remember the summer's extreme heat, what has been noteworthy this year has been the relatively consistent heat through the year, with every month except December being warmer than average," Mark McCarthy, the head of the Met Office’s National Climate Information Centre, said.

Britain's weather events included recording in July its hottest day to date with temperatures exceeding 40C (104°F) and a drought declared in parts of England for the first time since 2018.

The London Fire Brigade endured its busiest day since World War Two and declared a "major incident" with hundreds of firefighters battling blazes across the capital that were sparked by the heat.

The national weather service also issued its first red warning for extreme temperatures in July for parts of England "where illness and death may occur among the fit and healthy, and not just in high-risk groups".

The conditions led the Met Office's Chief of Science and Technology Stephen Belcher, at the time to warn that "if we continue under a high emission scenario, we could see temperatures like this every three years".

He said the only way to stabilise the climate was to achieve net zero carbon emissions.

(Reporting by Farouq Suleiman; Editing by Alistair Smout and Barbara Lewis)