Climate sceptics feeling the heat
Provisional figures released by the Met Office indicate that 2014 could become both the warmest year on record globally and across the UK.
Across the UK, 2014 is currently the warmest on record, although there are still five weeks of data to come and a significantly colder December may change that. This is based on the modern temperature data set which began in 1910.
The much more important CET (Central England Temperature) data set – the longest such dataset in the world which began in 1659 – shows that Jan to Nov 2014 is the warmest such period on record.
Already, global temperatures, based on the Met Office and the University of East Anglia’s data (HADCRUT4), are fractionally ahead of the current global record set in 2010. This global data set dates back to 1850.
Much of the world has been warmer than average in 2014, with the main exception being parts of North America.
And according to new research from the Met Office, the current elevated level of global temperatures is highly unlikely in a world without man-made carbon dioxide.
Moreover, the research shows that human influence has made breaking the current UK temperature record around 10 times more likely.
In the years since I joined the BBC from the Met Office in 2007 I have spoken to several prominent climate sceptics who always insisted to me, quite vocally, that global temperatures would soon begin to fall.
The latest temperature data will make uncomfortable reading for them.