Europe South Asia Asia Pacific Americas Middle East Africa BBC Homepage World Service Education
BBC Homepagelow graphics version | feedback | help
BBC News Online
 You are in: Sci/Tech
Front Page 
UK Politics 
Talking Point 
In Depth 
Wednesday, 8 December, 1999, 17:38 GMT
UK gets even hotter
Sun This summer was less than spectacular

Climate scientists say 1999 will be the warmest year ever recorded in the UK.

Unless the final weeks of December are unusually cool 1999 will top even the mercury levels reached in 1990, the previous record year.

The scientists, based at the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia, analyse what is known as the Central England Temperature Record, which is the longest daily temperature record in the world.

It uses a group of weather stations whose data can be merged together and extended back to 1659.

This record shows that 1999, barring a sudden freeze in the next three weeks, will turn out to be Britain's hottest year by a 10th of a degree or more. It is expected to be 1.2 degC or possibly 1.3 degC above the recent long-term average, which is based on the period 1961 to 1990.

Global temperatures

Three of the UK's 10 hottest years were in the 1990s. The 10 are: 1990, 1949, 1997, 1995, 1989, 1959, 1834, 1921, 1733 and 1779.

This year is also likely to be the fourth-warmest ever for the world, which means eight of the 10 hottest years recorded globally will have occurred this decade.

The news that 1999 was such a hot year will come as a surprise to most UK citizens who may feel they hardly saw the sun this summer. But a spokesman from the UEA unit said the average temperatures now being recorded were consistent with a world that was rapidly warming up under the influence of humankind.

"It's almost definite now - we are seeing the fingerprint of mankind pressed firmly on the climate system," the spokesman said. "We are now outside the range of natural variability.

"About 95% of world climate scientists would now say there is a 'discernible human influence' on the climate system."

Search BBC News Online

Advanced search options
Launch console

See also:
08 Dec 99 |  UK
Crime and climate change for millennium generation
03 Dec 99 |  Scotland
Grim forecast for Scotland
25 Nov 99 |  Sci/Tech
South east faces climate change
24 Nov 99 |  Sci/Tech
Ocean drift disruption may chill Europe
18 Nov 99 |  Sci/Tech
Climate change warning

Internet links:

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites
Links to other Sci/Tech stories are at the foot of the page.

E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Sci/Tech stories