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Summers will be hotter and wetter, says new study

The i logo The i 30/07/2018 Jane Clinton
a group of people sitting in the grass © Provided by Johnston Publishing Ltd

The UK’s summers are getting hotter and wetter, according to the Met Office's Annual State of the UK Climate report.

It confirmed that 2017 was the fifth warmest year since 1910 with the highest daily maximum temperature of 34.5C recorded on 21 June at Heathrow, London. There were above average temperatures From February to June and October.

The report added that the UK's climate “is warming”.

A man soaks up the sun in Regent's Park, London, Friday, July 27, 2018. Britain is experiencing a severe heatwave which has prompted its national weather service to issue an alert for people to 'stay out of the sun'. (AP Photo/Robert Stevens) © AP A man soaks up the sun in Regent's Park, London, Friday, July 27, 2018. Britain is experiencing a severe heatwave which has prompted its national weather service to issue an alert for people to 'stay out of the sun'. (AP Photo/Robert Stevens)

Warmest

Nine of the 10 warmest years for the UK have occurred since 2002 with the top ten all having occurred since 1990.

UK temperature records date back to 1910.

The average temperature over the last decade (2008-2017) was 0.8°C above the 1961-1990 average. We have also had 8 per cent more rainfall and 6 per cent more sunshine.

Summers have been “notably” wetter over the most recent decade, with a 20 per cent increase in rainfall compared to 1961-1990.

Tourists from China stand on parched grass from the lack of rain on Parliament Square, during what has been the driest summer for many years in London, Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Britain is experiencing a severe heatwave which has prompted its national weather service to issue an alert for people to 'stay out of the sun'. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham) © AP Tourists from China stand on parched grass from the lack of rain on Parliament Square, during what has been the driest summer for many years in London, Tuesday, July 24, 2018. Britain is experiencing a severe heatwave which has prompted its national weather service to issue an alert for people to 'stay out of the sun'. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham)

Rising sea levels

The Central England Temperature Series, which extends back to 1659, revealed that the 21st century (since 2001) has been warmer in the region than the previous three centuries.

Mean sea level around the UK has risen at a rate of approximately 1.4 mm per year since the start of the 20th Century, equivalent to a rise of about 16cm.

A separate blog post commenting on this year’s heatwave, written by the Met Office's chief scientist, Professor Stephen Belcher as well as Professor Brian Hoskins, chair of the Grantham Institute, Imperial College and of the University of Reading, said that while heatwaves in the UK may not yet be the "new normal...within a few decades they could be".

Two people take a walk near the water's edge, where the water level has dropped significantly during the U.K. heatwave, of Torside Reservoir in Longdendale, Derbyshire, Britain, July 3, 2018. REUTERS/Phil Noble © Reuters Two people take a walk near the water's edge, where the water level has dropped significantly during the U.K. heatwave, of Torside Reservoir in Longdendale, Derbyshire, Britain, July 3, 2018. REUTERS/Phil Noble

Impacts

Professor Rowan Sutton, Director of Climate Research, National Centre for Atmospheric Science at the University of Reading, said: “No one should be in the slightest surprised that we’re seeing very serious heatwaves and associated impacts in many parts of the world.

“An increase in the frequency and severity of heatwaves has been a robust prediction of climate change science for decades.

“Warming will continue and there will many more heatwaves, some with greater severity than those occurring now, in the decades to come.”

Watch: Londoners dash for cover as rain finally arrives (provided by Newsflare)

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Urgency

Responding to the Met Office’s report Dr Stephen Cornelius, Chief Advisor for Climate Change at WWF said: “Climate change is not just a problem for others – this report shows that it affects us here in the UK.

“Extreme weather such as we’ve experienced this summer threatens our health, our water supplies, and our natural world. These extreme events will become normal if we don’t heed these warnings and act with urgency.”

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