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  • What Is the Hottest UK Temperature Ever?

What Is the Hottest UK Temperature Ever?

Aug 04 2019 Read 988 Times

The Met Office has confirmed that last month has broken the record for the hottest ever temperature recorded in the UK. An all-time high of 38.7°C (101.7°F) was logged in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Cambridge on Thursday 25th July, beating the previous record of 38.5°C (101.3°F) set in 2003 in Kent.

The landmark confirms that the 2019 summer is one of the hottest on record, with records being broken in several other countries around Europe as well. While the warmer temperatures might be welcome to some British citizens fed up of a temperate climate, it raises worrying implications about the future of the world’s environment, with global warming unfolding before our very eyes.

Regional records

Last year saw long periods of European dry heat all across the continent, but 2019 appears to have trumped even those extreme weather events. The record temperature in Cambridge was announced on Thursday 25th July and verified by researchers from the Met Office, who visited the Botanic Gardens to ensure the equipment was working properly and met official standards.

The Met Office has been measuring temperatures across the UK since 1904, meaning the record is the highest one recorded in 115 years. For context, the higher ever temperature recorded in other parts of the UK are 32.9°C (91.2°F) in Greycook, Scotland in 2003; 35.2°C (95.4°F) in Hawarden Bridge, Wales in 1990; and 30.8°C (87.4°F) in Shaw’s Bridge, Northern Ireland in 1983.

The UK is not the only country to have broken its temperature records this summer, either. Belgium, Germany and Holland have all experienced all-time highs over recent weeks, while extremely high temperatures were recorded in a wide number of countries across Central and Western Europe last month.

Sign of the climes

While it’s not often that Britain can boast about record-breaking temperatures, and the discovery must surely have been a thrilling one for the Botanic Gardens staff who noted it, the phenomenon is not a positive omen for the future of our planet.

“Our long history of weather recording is very important to researchers analysing climate change,” explained Beverely Glover, director of the Botanic Gardens. “However, we can't help but feel dismay at the high temperature recorded and the implication that our local climate is getting hotter, with inevitable consequences for the plants and animals around us.”

As well as the long-term implications of the hotter temperatures, the extreme weather also had more immediate consequences. Damage sustained to the overhead wires of train carriages meant that two services were stopped near Peterborough, while many others were adversely affected over concerns that the tracks themselves might buckle in the heat. Surely it is unmistakable warning signs like these that indicate that the time for change is ripe when it comes to our environmental habits and customs.

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