Climate change made this year’s summer heatwave around 30 times more likely than it would be under natural conditions, the Met Office has said.
This year’s scorching summer was joint warmest overall with 2006, 2003, and 1976 – and its highest temperature hit 35.6C in Suffolk.
New analysis from the Met Office has found that the record-breaking summer temperatures were about 30 times more likely as a result of climate change caused by human activities.
The UK now has around a 12 per cent chance of summer average temperatures being as high as they were in 2018 every year.
Such conditions would have less than 0.5 per cent chance of happening in a ‘natural climate’, the Met Office said.
A natural climate would be one that had not been filled with greenhouse gases that trap heat on the planet.
The study comes after climate projections published last week in which the Met Office said that, by mid-century, there will be a 50 per cent chance of summers as hot as 2018’s heatwave, making the sweltering conditions the norm – and a warning that heatwaves hitting 40c could become common.
Soaring summer temperatures and dry weather this year hit crops and livestock, affected water supplies, transport networks, people’s health and the natural environment, and led to numerous wildfires.