UK temperatures broke records in 2019 as climate change took hold


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Cambridge recorded the UK’s hottest tempearture ever in 2019

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Last year saw a series of new high temperatures as climate change exerts “an increasing impact” on the UK, the Met Office has said.

Its latest annual State of the UK Climate report shows how the country continues to warm, with 2019’s average temperature 1.1°C above long-term 1961-1990 levels.

The most recent decade has been 0.9°C warmer across the UK than the 1961-1990 average, the report said.

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Last year was most notable for breaking records, with the UK recording its hottest temperature ever as the mercury soared to 38.7°C at Cambridge University Botanic Gardens on 25 July.

That was not the only temperature high seen in 2019, with a new winter record of 21.2°C set on 26 February, at Kew Gardens in London, the first time 20°C has been reached in the UK in a winter month.

No cold temperature records were set last year, the report said.

The changing climate is also bringing other extremes, with flooding hitting parts of Lincolnshire in mid-June, parts of the Pennines and northern England in late July, and South Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire and Lincolnshire in November 2019.

All of the 10 warmest years in the UK in records dating back to 1884 have occurred since 2002, with 2019 coming in outside the top 10, in 12th place.

And the Central England Temperature series, the longest continuous temperature record in the world, which has data for an area of central England stretching back to 1659, provides evidence that the 21st century so far has overall been warmer than the previous three centuries, the Met Office said.

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