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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."

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See also:
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