Met Office warns ‘extreme heat’ and summers exceeding 40C will become more common in UK due to climate change

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It’s been a mild July for the UK - but extreme heat and temperatures of 40C in the summer will become more common, the Met Office warn

The Met Office has warned the UK is set to endure more severe heat and summers where the temperature reaches and exceed 40C are increasingly likely due to climate change.

This comes as the national weather service is set to release their State of the UK Climate report for 2022 - which was a record breaking year for the UK where a heatwave saw temperatures exceed 40C for the first time.

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Climate change has been a hot topic once again this summer as wildfires rage across Europe, most notably in Greece. Some parts of Asia are also experiencing deadly heat waves.

The heatwave ravaging China saw temperatures spike to 45C. Experts believe the country can expect this type of extreme weather once every five years due to climate change.

Dr Candice Howarth, of the London School of Economics Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, said 2022 was “very significant” for the UK climate after temperatures hit 40C for the first time.

She said: “The 2022 heatwaves would not have been possible without climate change. We know that the July heatwave was extremely rare, a one-in-1,000-year event , and was made 10 times more likely due to anthropogenic climate change.”

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AFP via Getty Images

The Met Office also predict what the future will be like, with their website stating: In a high emission scenario (RCP 8.5), we expect the UK will experience:

  • Warmer and wetter winters
  • Hotter and drier summers
  • More frequent and intense weather extremes

In less than 50 years’ time, by 2070, they project:

- Winters will be between 1C and 4.5C warmer and up to 30% wetter

- Summers will be between 1C and 6C warmer and up to 60% drier

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