Carry On Met Office: British Weather In Future To Be All Sorts

  • Date: 25/03/14
  • David Shukman, BBC News

British winters are likely to become milder and wetter like the last one but cold spells still need to be planned for, says the UK Met Office. Summers are likely to be hotter and drier, but washouts are still on the cards, it adds.

The assessment of future weather extremes finds the role of human influence is “detectable” in summer heatwaves and in intense rainfall.

However, the Met Office says a lot more work must be done to confirm the links.

The study has been released before a major new international climate report next week.

That report, to be produced by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, will look at the likely future impacts of global warming.

If the British assessment sounds confusing, you are not alone.

Assuming the Met Office study is correct, it means everything from gumboots to snowploughs and sunscreen to anoraks will still be needed.

As the report’s authors themselves readily admit, the British weather varies so “hugely year to year due to natural processes” that detecting trends is tough, and detecting a manmade fingerprint even harder.

‘Fickle path’

Stephen Belcher, head of the Met Office Hadley Centre, sums it up like this: “We’ve got to continue living with the cold events and we’ve got to get used to the hot events.”

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