You thought it was hot now! Scientists predict the UK’s average weather in the year 2080


Britain is in the midst of the first spell of unbearably hot weather for the year but it could be just a taster of what’s to come in a few decades. 

Scientists predict that temperatures across the UK in 2080 will be high enough to trigger ‘wide-scale mortality’, much like the European heatwave of 2003

In a single summer week in 2080, temperatures will hit 41C (105F) in London while weekly averages will be 28C (82F) in large parts of southern England. 

This compares to London’s peak summertime temperatures of 31C (87F) and southern England’s weekly averages of 20C (68°F) in the 1970s.

Manchester, meanwhile, will push past 38C (100F) at least once a week during a 2080s summer, and Plymouth and Glasgow will likely hit 35C (95F) weekly.  

The study predicts peak summertime temperatures of 41C in London, and weekly averages of 28C in large parts of southern England. This compares to 31C and 20C in the 1970s. Image shows daily maximum temperatures in the UK for the 1970s (left) and projections for the 2080s (right)

The study predicts peak summertime temperatures of 41C in London, and weekly averages of 28C in large parts of southern England. This compares to 31C and 20C in the 1970s. Image shows daily maximum temperatures in the UK for the 1970s (left) and projections for the 2080s (right)

Temperature projections for London, Plymouth, Manchester and Glasgow during an 'example extreme week' in 2080, likely a heatwave in the summer. Temperatures for 2080 are indicated by the red line in each graph, as well as other decades both past and present in other colours

Temperature projections for London, Plymouth, Manchester and Glasgow during an ‘example extreme week’ in 2080, likely a heatwave in the summer. Temperatures for 2080 are indicated by the red line in each graph, as well as other decades both past and present in other colours

Last year, the UK set a new temperature record of 40.3C (104.5F) – but multiple regions will push past this on a weekly basis by 2080, the predictions show. 

Peak summer temperatures in the 2080s

London: 105°F (41°C)

Manchester: 100°F (38°C)

Plymouth: 96°F (36°C)

Glasgow: 95°F (35°C)  

Temperatures in the biggest cities, namely London, tend to be hotter than the rest of the UK – and will continue to be so in the 2080s – due to densely-packed buildings and more concrete and tarmac that absorb heat more quickly. 

The study was led by Professor David Coley at the University of Bath’s Department of Architecture and Civil Engineering, who stresses that it is in the extremes of weather, not the mean climate, where much climate change risk lies. 

‘Climate change is normally discussed in terms of seasonal averages, as this is what is meant by the word climate,’ said Professor Coley. 

‘I believe this a possible mistake, as few of us naturally grasp how even small differences in climate imply hugely different worlds.’ 

The team cite the European heatwave of 2003, which killed 14,000 people in Paris alone, showing the dangers of extreme temperatures rather than average temperatures. 

In the last 20 years alone there has been a 54 per cent increase in heat-related mortality in people older than 65, with a total of 296,000 deaths in 2018. 

‘It’s such heatwaves and cold snaps, and a lack of preparation for them, that will increasingly kill people,’ said Professor Coley. 

‘We need to think about climate change in terms of changing weather.’

The annual mean temperatures in the UK by 2080, as predicted by the researchers

Maximum temperature for a typical summer's day in 2080s

Scientists predict that temperatures across the UK in 2080 will be high enough to trigger ‘wide-scale mortality’, much like the European heatwave of 2003  

Britain is going through the first spell of unbearably hot weather for the year, following record-breaking temperatures set in 2022

Britain is going through the first spell of unbearably hot weather for the year, following record-breaking temperatures set in 2022

For their study, Professor Coley and colleagues produced a series of detailed weather projections for 11,326 UK locations at 3-mile-square intervals for the year 2080. 

Using weather generator software and a newly developed algorithm, the team built upon Met Office climate predictions to create the projections.

After inputting the climate prediction data into the software, the weather generator produced 3,000 examples of possible weather forecasts for 2080. 

By then looking for heatwaves and examining how they changed over time, they discovered that there will be heatwaves of similar form as the 2003 Paris event.

However, these will be ‘with even higher temperatures’, suggesting the likelihood of ‘largescale mortality’. 

The authors say climate change has the potential to undermine many of the gains in public health over the past 50 years, which will ‘exacerbate existing inequities’.

Vulnerable populations, such as the elderly or those with pre-existing medical conditions, will be disproportionally affected. 

‘Exposure to high temperatures impact individuals via various routes from heat stress and heatstroke to exacerbations of respiratory and cardiovascular disease,’ they write. 

Photo from the 2003 heatwave in Paris, which the researchers say killed 14,000 people in the city

Photo from the 2003 heatwave in Paris, which the researchers say killed 14,000 people in the city

Hundreds of people enjoy the sun on Brighton beach during the European heatwave of 2003

Hundreds of people enjoy the sun on Brighton beach during the European heatwave of 2003

Graphical abstract from the study. Heatwaves for the 2080s in London 'indicated life-threatening risk'

Graphical abstract from the study. Heatwaves for the 2080s in London ‘indicated life-threatening risk’

What’s more, the UK is badly prepared for temperature increases as buildings and infrastructure are not heat-resistant enough

‘No temperature record exists of the internal conditions within the buildings in which the 14,000 deaths occurred in Paris in 2003,’ the team say. 

‘The predicted situation in London is similar to that found in Paris, but with the peak temperature being higher in London and the night-time temperature in London being considerably higher. 

‘It would therefore not be unreasonable to conclude that in the future the UK can expect events with moralities of similar number as Paris suffered.’ 

Weather files containing the extreme weeks for 11,326 locations have been prepared by the academics and made available online, while the study has been published in the journal Building and Environment.

Life-threatening temperatures above 40C will be up to TEN TIMES more common in Britain by the end of the century, study warns 

Life-threatening temperatures above 40C will be up to ten times more common in Britain by the end of the century, a study found. 

Researchers looked at future climate projections to see how global exposure to ‘dangerous environments’ will increase in the coming decades. 

By 2100, a ‘dangerous’ temperature of 39.4C (103F) will be three to ten times more common by 2100 in mid-latitude countries such as the UK and the US. 

More than half the year ‘will be a challenge to work outside’ in countries along the equator because of scorching weather by 2100, although ‘deadly’ heatwaves could happen every year in the mid-latitude countries too. 

Read more 



Read More

Leave a comment

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. Accept Read More