Wet wet wet: 10% more rain falling in Wales due to climate change say Met Office
Wales has gotten over 10% wetter due to climate change, the Met Office has said.
New analysis by the weather forecasters has studied how the UK’s climate has been shifting since the 1960s because of climate change, and found that the rate of change has been different in different nations and regions.
They found that annual average rainfall has increased by more than 10% in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, as well as parts of south west England.
Dr Mark McCarthy is the head of the Met Office National Climate Information Centre, said that examining the pattern of climate change across the UK “reveals an interesting pattern of regional variation”.
“Over the periods, rainfall has generally increased with the greatest increases in the north and west,” he said. “Average temperature has increased most in inland counties to the north of London, while sunshine has increased most in the north east of England.
“Much of what we are seeing at a local scale fits the national and international picture. It has long been known that the atmosphere has been warming also resulting in a reduction in days of air frost can also be anticipated in a warming climate.”
Comparing two 30-year periods – 1961-1990 and 1991-2020 – the average temperature of the UK has increased by 0.8°C, rainfall by 7.3%, and sunshine by 5.6%.
With an increase of over 200mm, Argyll and Bute is the county that has seen the greatest increase of rainfall by volume. South Yorkshire with a rise of just over 14mm per year has seen the smallest rise by volume.
Along with total rainfall the number of days recording 1mm or more of rain a year has also increased by an average of 5.6 days. The largest increases being seen in Scotland with some areas seeing an annual increase of more than ten days. An increase of 12 days for the city of Glasgow contrasts with just one day in Cambridgeshire.
“The publication of climate data from the latest 30-year period is a perfect opportunity describe some of the changes taking place in UK climate over the last six decades,” Dr Mark McCarthy said.
“The result of human-induced climate change in the UK is that higher temperatures are felt further north than they used to be. If you look at the average temperature for example, between 1991-2020 Hull has been warmer on average than Heathrow in London 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.”