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Is Weather in the UK Becoming More Extreme? | AQA GCSE Geography | Weather Hazards 14


Last updated 13 Nov 2023

This revision video looks whether weather in the UK is becoming more extreme and the evidence for this, focusing on temperature, rainfall, sunshine hours and wind.

It is part of the AQA GCSE Geography course - Paper 1: Unit A - The Challenge of Natural Hazards.

  1. Climate Change Trends in the UK:
    • Recent decades in the UK have been characterized by warmer, wetter, and sunnier weather than the 20th century.
    • The UK's top 10 warmest years all occurred in the 21st century.
    • The State of the UK Climate Report (July 2022) indicates that 2021 temperatures and sunshine were near the 1991-2020 average, with slightly below-average rainfall.
  2. Temperature Changes:
    • Average temperatures in the UK have increased, with the period 2012-2021 being 0.2 degrees warmer than 1991-2000 and 1 degree warmer than 1961-1990.
    • The top 10 warmest years in the UK have all occurred since 2002.
  3. Sunshine and Rainfall Patterns:
    • Sunshine levels have increased, with the period 2012-2021 being 2% sunnier than 1991-2000 and 8% sunnier than 1961-1990.
    • Rainfall has also increased, with the period 2012-2021 being 2% wetter than 1991-2000 and 10% wetter than 1961-1990.
  4. Frost and Extreme Cold:
    • There has been a decrease in the number of frost days, with 5% fewer between 2012-2021 compared to 1991-2000 and 19.5% fewer than 1961-1990.
    • The average coldest day of the year has become 1.7 degrees milder at minus 6.8 compared to 8.5 between 1961-1990.
  5. Weather Hazards and Future Implications:
    • Six of the 10 wettest years on record in the UK have occurred since 1998, with an increase in the frequency and intensity of rainfall.
    • While there is no strong evidence of stronger winds, warming in the North Atlantic could bring the tail end of more hurricanes to the UK, leading to an increased risk of storm force winds, coastal flooding, and storm surges.

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