The Met Office has today (Thursday, January 5) confirmed 2022 to be the UK’s hottest year on record, with an average temperature of over 10° recorded for the first time.

This had been anticipated in December, but full-year data has made it possible to confirm.

The full annual UK mean temperature data for 2022 resulted in a provisional figure of 10.03°, the highest in records dating back to 1884.

This made the year 0.89° above the 1991-2020 average and 0.15° higher than the previous record of 9.88° set in 2014, the weather service said.

Head of the Met Office National Climate Information Centre Dr. Mark McCarthy said that while this number may be “arbitrary”, it is significant in the UK’s climatological history.

“This moment comes as no surprise, since 1884 all the ten years recording the highest annual temperature have occurred from 2003,” he added.

“It is clear from the observational record that human induced global warming is already impacting the UK’s climate,” he said.

Humans cause hottest year on record

The Met Office has said that human-induced climate change is responsible for this rise in temperature.

A study conducted by Met Office scientists has shown that what would have been around a 1-in-500 year annual temperature in a natural climate where human climate influences are removed, is now likely every three to four years in the current climate.

“To assess the impact of human induced climate change on the record-breaking year of 2022, we used climate models to compare the likelihood of a UK mean temperature of 10°C in both the current climate and with historical human climate influences removed,” Met Office climate attribution scientist, Dr. Nikos Christidis explained.

“The results showed that recording 10°C in a natural climate would occur around once every 500 years, whereas in our current climate it could be as frequently as once every three to four years.

“We also used climate models to project how often this sort of temperature could be recorded in the future. It was possible to calculate that by the end of the century, under a medium emissions scenario (SSP2-4.5), a UK average temperature of 10°C could occur almost every year.”