The Met Office has warned that last year was the first in history to have temperatures, rains and sunshine hit record levels.
The effects of climate change continue to be felt across the UK, the Met Office said in a report today, during a July which brought both heat-health warnings and flooding to London.
“This report provides clear evidence that climate change is not something that is 10 or 20 years down the line, it is happening right now,” director of Sustainable Capital Kevin Haines said.
“For some, it is easy to dismiss the climate crisis as something that will not have any real impact on the UK, but the freak weather events of 2021 highlighted in this report should open people’s eyes to just how serious the situation is.”
All of the top-ten warmest years for the UK, in records which date back to 1884, have occurred since 2002, the report revealed.
Last year was third warmest, fifth wettest and eighth sunniest on record for the UK, the report said, with the highest temperature of 37.8C recorded at Heathrow.
Senior climate scientist and lead author of the report, Mike Kendon, said: “2020 was another notable year for the UK climate, with records broken for daily rainfall and monthly sunshine hours.
The UK’s average temperatures “continue to climb”, Kendon added, “with nearly a degree of warming when comparing the most recent 30 years with the preceding 30-year period.”