The government has published its third Climate Change Risk Assessment.
It's a five-year assessment which looks at what needs to be done to ensure the UK is resilient in the face of climate change.
You can read more from Defra on their page Government publishes UK's Third Climate Change Risk Assessment.
The risk assessment indicates that costs of climate change to the UK are high and increasing.
Risks in agriculture
The report highlights that five of the eight priority risks identified are integrally linked to agriculture.
We very much welcome the government’s intention to increase its efforts on adaptation because agriculture is on the frontline of climate impacts.
How the UK's climate has changed over 60 years
The Met Office compared two 30-year periods (1961-1990 and 1991-2020) and found average increases of 0.8°C in temperature, 7.3% in rainfall and 5.6% in sunshine.
Differing temperature rises
Temperature rise has been greatest across parts of central and eastern England where temperatures have increased by more than 1°C in some locations including Bedfordshire and Leicestershire.
Further north in Scotland and Northern Ireland temperatures rises have been closer to 0.7°C.
Other findings include:
- Annual average rainfall has increased by more than 10% between the two periods across parts of south-west England and Wales. South Yorkshire has seen the smallest rise by volume with a rise of just over 14mm per year.
- The number of days with 1mm or more of rain a year has increased by an average of 5.6 days.
- The locations seeing the greatest annual percentage increases in sunshine have been in north-eastern and eastern England (increasing by more than 13%).
- The number of days of air frost (when the air temperature drops below 0°C) has reduced on average by 11.1 days. Many areas have seen a fall by 14 days per year, including Derbyshire, Northamptonshire, Northumberland, Nottinghamshire, Rutland and Staffordshire.
Measurement of climate against 30-year ‘averaging’ periods is in line with World Meteorological Organisation. They are benchmarks against which weather and climate records can be compared to provide context and a baseline for future climate projections.
The head of the Met Office National Climate Information Centre, Dr Mark McCarthy, said: “The average temperature between 1991-2020 in Hull has been warmer on average than Heathrow was during the previous climate averaging period 1961-1990.
"So average temperatures previously limited to London and parts of the far south of England are now experienced as much as 250 km (155 miles) further north.”