Met Office says 2022 was the warmest year in UK history

A man sunbathes in the morning at Kensington Gardens (PA Wire)
A man sunbathes in the morning at Kensington Gardens (PA Wire)

2022 will be the warmest year on record for the UK, according to provisional figures from the Met Office.

This exceeds the previous warmest year on record in 2014, when the average was 9.88C.

All four seasons in 2022 were in the top 10 warmest on record for the UK. Winter was eighth warmest, spring the fifth, summer the fourth and autumn the third.

Since 1884, all the 10 years recording the highest annual temperature have occurred from 2002, it added.

Dr Mark McCarthy, head of the Met Office's National Climate Information Centre, said: "2022 is going to be the warmest year on record for the UK.

“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.

London Weather: Summer Heatwave 2022

Two women dip their heads into the fountain to cool off in Trafalgar Square (Getty Images)
Two women dip their heads into the fountain to cool off in Trafalgar Square (Getty Images)
A police officer givers water to a British soldier wearing a traditional bearskin hat, on guard duty outside Buckingham Palace (AP)
A police officer givers water to a British soldier wearing a traditional bearskin hat, on guard duty outside Buckingham Palace (AP)
People take pictures of the sunset from Greenwich Park view point (REUTERS)
People take pictures of the sunset from Greenwich Park view point (REUTERS)
2: Empty shelves in the water aisle of Sainsbury Nine Elms in London (PA)
2: Empty shelves in the water aisle of Sainsbury Nine Elms in London (PA)
A man cools off in a fountain during the hot weather in London (REUTERS)
A man cools off in a fountain during the hot weather in London (REUTERS)
People sit and lie in the sun and shade backdropped by Tower Bridge (AP)
People sit and lie in the sun and shade backdropped by Tower Bridge (AP)
Children cool off in the Southbank Centre fountain (Reuters)
Children cool off in the Southbank Centre fountain (Reuters)
A man uses a newspaper as a fan whilst travelling on the Bakerloo line (PA)
A man uses a newspaper as a fan whilst travelling on the Bakerloo line (PA)
Two people under an umbrella in London’s Regents Park (PA)
Two people under an umbrella in London’s Regents Park (PA)
Sunrise  over London (Jeremy Selwyn)
Sunrise over London (Jeremy Selwyn)
Swimmers soak up the sun at Charlton Lido in south east London (PA)
Swimmers soak up the sun at Charlton Lido in south east London (PA)

"The warm year is 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 said 2022’s record was not driven just by a hot summer, where temperatures reached up to 40.3C - itself a record.

“The record-breaking temperatures in July have certainly boosted the overall temperature values for the year, but that isn't the full story,” he said.

"Temperatures have been above the 1991-2020 long term average for a large proportion of the year, and this is something that we can anticipate as we become increasingly affected by climate change.

“Met Office science has shown that the temperatures witnessed in mid-July would have been extremely unlikely in the pre-industrial period - the era before humanity started emitting lots of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels.”

Although the start of December saw a lengthy cold spell, Met Office scientists say these have generally become less frequent as the climate warms.

The hot spell in July saw the Met Office issue its first ever red warning for extreme heat.

Wales also recorded a new daily maximum temperature record of 37.1C, while Scotland saw a new record of 34.8C.