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UK Saw Hottest-Ever Year in 2022 as Europe’s Climate Warms

Britain had its warmest year on record in 2022, official figures showed Thursday, the latest evidence that climate change is transforming Europe’s weather.

The Met Office weather agency said the provisional annual average temperature in the U.K. was 10.03 degrees Celsius (50 Fahrenheit), the highest since comparable records began in 1884. The previous record was 9.88 Celsius (49.8 Fahrenheit) set in 2014.

Met Office scientists said human activity — primarily fossil fuel emissions — has made such warm conditions vastly more likely. Britain’s 10 hottest years on record have all been since 2003.

“The results showed that recording 10C 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,” said Met Office climate attribution scientist Nikos Christidis.

Britain is not alone. France’s average temperature was above 14 Celsius (57.2 Fahrenheit) in 2022, making it the hottest year since weather readings began in 1900. Switzerland’s meteorological service said the alpine nation’s annual average temperature of 7.4 Celsius (45,3 Fahrenheit) was “by far the highest value since measurements began in 1864.”

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