Glasgow records hottest summer in run-up to Cop26 climate summit

The Met Office reported that Glasgow, which hosted the Cop26 UN climate summit in November was the hottest city on record.
Summer 2021: Sunshine duration Photograph by MET office

The UK's highest temperature recorded in August was 80.9F, which is also the highest recorded in Scotland. This breaks a 20-year streak during which England has had the hottest day. With only 62% of the average rainfall, the summer in Scotland was also unusually dry.

Northern Ireland's 21-day record for temperature broke on 21 July, when 31.3C was recorded at Castlederg. This was the third warmest summer in Northern Ireland's 140-year history.

Photo by MET office: Rainfall in summer 2021

The UK's east and south were, however, duller and wetter, despite the Met Office issuing its very first extreme heat warning in the middle of July after a severe heat wave hit the UK. Flash flooding was also caused by torrential downpours that hit London at the end of July. The capital received 50% more rainfall than the long-term average.

The UK's summer 2021 was 9th hottest, and about 1C hotter than the average.

Mark McCarthy, head of the Met Offices National Climate Information Centre said that Summer 2021 will be remembered differently depending on where one is in the UK. Some scientists refer to global weirding as a mix of unusually wet and dry weather, hot and cold, and even both.

The rapid effects of climate change have been evident around the globe during summer. There were devastating wildfires across Europe, Russia and the US, as well as a record-breaking heatwave in North-western North America and severe and deadly flooding in Germany and China. Although this is still being confirmed, it was the August when 48.8C was recorded in Syracuse in Sicily.

Global heating made floods in Germany, Belgium and other countries nine times more likely, according to a scientific study. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report in August stating that there was clear evidence that global warming from human activities is the primary cause of extreme weather.

Cop26 is a crucial summit for countries to increase their carbon emission reduction pledges and to provide long-promised climate aid of $100 billion per year to the poorer nations. The current pledges would lead to a catastrophic global warming of around 3C.