England just had its joint hottest summer on record

This summer was England's joint hottest on record, the Met Office has said.

Provisional figures show the summer of 2022, covering June, July and August, had an average temperature of 17.1C, tying with 2018 to be the warmest in records dating from 1884.

It means that four of the five warmest summers on record for England have occurred since 2003, as the effect of human-induced climate change is felt on the country's summer temperatures, the Met Office said.

The hot summer included the record-breaking heat in July, when temperatures climbed above 40C for the first time in the UK, as climate change drives more frequent and intense heatwaves.

The heatwave trigged a major incident in London due to a surge in fires, which destroyed homes and cars.

England also had its sixth-driest summer on record, and driest since 1995, according to Met Office data going back to 1836.

Much of England has been gripped by drought after months of low rainfall, with the hot, dry conditions drying up rivers, damaging crops and fuelling wildfires that have destroyed homes and land.

This week, the Met Office warned summers in England are likely to be longer and drier as a consequence of climate change.

Forecasters said summer-like conditions were expected to last longer and a 4% to 12% reduction in rainfall in England was likely in the future in autumn.

A drought was declared for all of England's South West region by the Environment Agency on Tuesday.

This means 11 of the 14 areas covered by the agency in England have been now been declared as experiencing a drought.