The world has got warmer and generally wetter since the
beginning of the 20th century, according to new data just released
by the Met Office and a global team of experts. With an extra 50
years worth of observations, the new data tracks how high
temperatures and heavy rainfall extremes are becoming more frequent
due to climate change.
The UK's Met Office has
just published observations from over 6000 temperature and
11,000 precipitation stations around the world, which look
specifically at how extreme events have changed between 1901 and
The new dataset - called HadEX2 - is an update to a previous
one that only covered the second half of the 20th century.
The analysis is published online in the Journal of Geophysical
Extreme temperature or rainfall events are roughly classed as
anything that falls outside normal fluctuation around a long term
The scientists look at global temperature data to spot extremes,
such as particularly hot days. They also measure cold extremes,
like how the minimum night time temperature has changed over
In all 17 parameters the scientists measure, they find a shift
towards warmer temperatures over the 20th century.
Averaged across the globe, the number of cool nights - when the
temperature dropped a certain amount below the local average -
halved in the last 60 years to 18 days per year. The number of warm
nights increased by 55 per cent - to 20 days per year.
The number of anomalously warm days also increased over the
60-year period, but with more variation according to location.