Average temperature up for sixth year in a row
GUERNSEY is getting hotter, with last year the sixth consecutive year to be warmer than the 30-year average.
The alarming figures were published in the Guernsey Met Office annual report.
Last year saw the mean temperature at 12 degrees Celsius – compared with the 30-year average of 11.4.
With the end of the decade, it also saw the 2010s crowned as the second warmest decade since the 1950s, with an average temperature of 11.7C. That was hot on the heels of the 2000s, which registered 11.78C.
The latest data shows a clear trend of rising temperatures, from a mean of 10.88C in the 50s, once again raising questions about the consequences of global warming.
Guernsey has seen an increase in extreme weather over the last decade, with a damaging blizzard in 2013 that saw cars abandoned across the island in snow drifts and one of the longest periods of continuous fog at Guernsey Airport, which lasted 72 hours in March 2016.
Guernsey Met Office said that the scientific community has attributed many extreme weather events to global warming, although did not go as far as to attribute the Guernsey extreme events to that.
It did, however, refer to the wildfires in Australia, Alaska and Siberia, as well as heatwaves in Australia, Spain and India, where temperatures topped 50°C.
‘The extra warming of the planet due to the burning of fossil fuels which adds to the naturally occurring greenhouse effect has been highlighted by climate scientists for a number of years and the reason for many of these disasters,’ a spokesman said.
‘The naturally occurring greenhouse effect means the planet is some 30C warmer than it otherwise would be and hence a hospitable place to live.
‘What the science shows is that the human release, due to burning fossil fuels, of the likes of carbon dioxide since the industrial revolution is trapping more heat in the system than would otherwise be the case and hence we see a warming of the planet.’
Last year will be remembered for its dry start, with 75mm less than average rainfall until mid-September, and also for the seemingly ceaseless deluge that followed with the last three months of the year accounting for 60% of annual rainfall.
There was an extreme beginning to the decade too, with 2010 the coldest recorded year since 1890 ending with a rare full week of snow in December that thawed in time for sun-soaked 2011, which still remains in the warmest top-10 years on record.
Last year included the sunniest February on record, and warmest February day, the 27th, reaching 16.1C.