Scientists have reportedly warned that extreme weather would become more common in the UK as a result of the climate crisis. The grim warning was issued after statistics revealed that 2020 was one of the warmest, wettest, and sunniest years, on record.
According to a new report, from the Met Office and climate experts, last year was the first in over a century to rank in the top ten for rain, heat, and hours of sunlight, as mild British weather is quickly becoming a relic of the past.
The lead author of the research, and senior climate scientist at the Met Office National Climate Information Centre, Mike Kendon, stated that the climate of the United Kingdom is already changing. The nation’s climate appears to be becoming wetter as well as warmer, which is consistent with the broad understanding of the climate change process.
In certain cases, the nation’s weather records date back centuries, with a temperature sequence for central England reaching back to 1659 as well as other temperature records following an uninterrupted line from 1884. There are records of rainfall dating back to 1862, and in some instances further.
The authors of the new report integrated data from these sequences along with sea levels and sea temperatures and compared them to last year's findings.
According to them, the most recent 30-year period (1991-2020) is 0.9C hotter than the prior 30-year period (1961-1990), while the United Kingdom has been 6% wetter on average in the latest period.
The effects of climate change can also be seen in agriculture and the natural environment. According to the study, the first leaves emerged and dropped significantly earlier than the last year, in general. The impacts may be disastrous for several species, who might find themselves out of sync. For example, caterpillars and other invertebrates could peak before young birds are hatched, leaving them little to nothing to eat.
Ed Hill, head of the National Oceanography Centre of the UK, warned that an immediate effect will be greater, ranging from extreme sea levels during storms to high tides that produce flooding.