Summers in the UK could be up to 5.4°C warmer by 2070, according to new data published by the Met Office.
It warns of significant temperature rises in the coming decades in its “most comprehensive picture yet” of how climate could change over the next century.
The UK Climate Projections 2018 (UKCP18) – the first major update in nearly a decade – illustrate a range of future climate scenarios until 2100, which also shows extreme weather and rising sea levels, suggesting “urgent” international action.
The report states winters could also be up to 4.2°C warmer, the chance of a summer as hot as 2018 is around 50% by 2050 and sea levels in London could rise by up to 1.15 metres by 2100.
It adds average summer rainfall could decrease by up to 47% by 2070 while there could be up to 35% more precipitation in winter.
Sea levels are projected to increase over the 21st century and beyond under all emission scenarios, which means the UK could see a rise in both the frequency and magnitude of extreme water levels around the coastline.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove said the UKCP18 can be used a tool to guide decision-making and boost resilience – through increasing flood defences, designing new infrastructure or adjusting ways of farming for drier summers.
He added: “This cutting-edge science opens our eyes to the extent of the challenge we face and shows us a future we want to avoid.
“The UK is already a global leader in tackling climate change, cutting emissions by more than 40% since 1990 – but we must go further. By having this detailed picture of our changing climate, we can ensure we have the right infrastructure to cope with weather extremes, homes and businesses can adapt and we can make decisions for the future accordingly.”
Today’s announcement comes as the UK marks the 10th anniversary of its Climate Change Act.
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