Analysis of Met Office figures reveal second warmest year on record for the UK

Commenting today (3 November 2017) on the publication this week by the Met Office of preliminary figures for the UK’s weather in October, Bob Ward, policy and communications director at the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy and the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics and Political Science, said:

“This year is shaping up to be one of the warmest years on record for the UK. My analysis of the Met Office’s figures indicates that the first 10 months of 2017 were the second warmest January to October period, behind 2014, for the UK since records began in 1910. This appears to be part of a trend, with the eight warmest years on record so far having occurred from 2000 onwards. This is a clear sign of the impact of global warming on the UK. Over the same period, the UK has experienced five of its six wettest years on record, which is likely to be another consequence of global warming, as a warmer atmosphere can hold more water, leading to more intense rainfall. Climate change is making the UK warmer and wetter, with higher risks of heatwaves and flooding due to heavy rainfall.

“The Government and its agencies, including the Met Office, should be highlighting the exceptional warmth of this year to raise awareness among the UK public of the impacts of climate change. This year has brought both surface water flooding and heatwaves that have harmed lives and livelihoods in many parts of the UK. But opinion polls show low levels of awareness among the UK public about the rising risks that they are facing from increases in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather. The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is due to publish the updated National Adaptation Programme next year, and it is essential that it follows the advice of the Committee on Climate Change by prioritising communication with the public about the impacts of climate change.”

For more information about this media release, please contact Bob Ward on +44 (0) 7811 320346