Science & Environment

Heatwaves 'more likely' in England

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England is set for more record-breaking warm years like 2014, say scientists.

The chances of England experiencing an exceptionally warm year is 13 times more likely due to human influences on climate, a study suggests.

2014 was the UK's warmest since records began in 1910.

The research, published in Environmental Research Letters, is based on climate models and temperature records for England dating back to 1659.

Dr Andrew King from the University of Melbourne is the lead researcher.

"Both of our approaches showed that there is a significant and substantial increase in the likelihood of very warm years occurring in central England," he said.

Dr Peter Stott, of the Met Office Hadley Centre, said the new findings added to evidence that human-induced climate change was increasing the chances of record-breaking temperatures around the world, including in the UK.

"At the Met Office we produced similar research late last year showing how climate change had made UK record breaking temperatures about 10 times more likely," he said.

"The fact that what might seem relatively modest rises in temperature around the world are causing quite dramatic increases in the likelihood of extreme temperatures may seem surprising but this is a well understood feature of how changes in mean temperatures affect extremes."

2014 was the warmest year on record, with global temperatures 0.68C (1.24F) above the long-term average.

It was also the UK's warmest since records began in 1910.

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