The Daily Telegraph

Af­ter the hottest sum­mer on record, get set for an ‘above-av­er­age’ au­tumn

- By Sarah Knap­ton SCI­ENCE ED­I­TOR

ENG­LAND ex­pe­ri­enced its hottest sum­mer since records be­gan in 1910 with av­er­age daily tem­per­a­tures of 62.9F (17.2C), the Met Of­fice con­firmed yes­ter­day.

The re­lent­less heat­wave saw the mer­cury soar­ing above the 1976 sum­mer, which peaked at an av­er­age of 62.6F (17C).

For Bri­tain as a whole, tem­per­a­tures for June to Au­gust matched heat­waves in 2006, 2003 and 1976 – when com­bined day and night tem­per­a­tures av­er­aged al­most ex­actly 60.4F (15.8C).

And this au­tumn could also likely see “above-av­er­age” tem­per­a­tures, a three-month out­look cov­er­ing Au­gust, Septem­ber and Oc­to­ber from the Met Of­fice sug­gests.

The ex­treme weather this year will lead to small and wonky veg­eta­bles in the shops in the next few months, ex­perts have warned.

Prof Ian Hol­man, from Cran­field Uni­ver­sity, said live­stock farm­ers had

been par­tic­u­larly af­fected by the con­di­tions, with poor grass growth lead­ing to a lack of feed for their an­i­mals.

But there were pos­i­tives for some farm­ers, such as Scot­tish potato grow­ers who ben­e­fited from more sunshine.

Over­all, Prof Hol­man said: “There’s likely to be smaller and less uni­form veg­eta­bles. Con­sumers will be notic­ing a change in the uni­for­mity and sizes of veg­eta­bles af­ter the drought, in the­ory, has ended be­cause it has started to rain.”

Con­ser­va­tion­ists also warned that

Bri­tain should pre­pare it­self for in­creas­ingly hot weather.

Tony Ju­niper, the ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor at WWF, said: “As people and wildlife baked this sum­mer, we all felt this was a mon­u­men­tal event. This data con­firms it.

“Un­for­tu­nately, it looks like this will be the new nor­mal, as our rapidly chang­ing cli­mate ren­ders ex­treme weather ever more likely.

“We ur­gently need am­bi­tious ac­tion to cut cli­mate-chang­ing pol­lu­tion and to build a cleaner, greener econ­omy.”

Mike Childs, the head of pol­icy for Friends of the Earth, added: “It’s time for the Govern­ment to take the heat off the planet by end­ing our fos­sil fuel fix­a­tion, in­vest­ing in en­ergy ef­fi­ciency and devel­op­ing the UK’S huge re­new­able power po­ten­tial.”

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