U.K. Is Warming Faster Than Global Average, LSE Study Shows

The U.K. is warming faster than the global average, adding urgency to its efforts to slash greenhouse gases.

The average annual temperature in the U.K. rose at a rate of 0.18 degree Celsius (0.32 degree Fahrenheit) per decade from 1950 through 2012, according to a paper e-mailed today by the London School of Economics. That’s 1 1/2 times the global average rate of increase of 0.12 degree per decade.

Britain aims to cut carbon emissions by 34 percent for the 30 years through 2020 as part of its contribution to global efforts to rein in temperatures. United Nations envoys are striving to agree on a treaty by 2015 to contain emissions worldwide and help limit global warming to 2 degrees.

A study last week led by the University of Hawaii at Manoa found that from 2056 onwards, even the coolest year in London will be warmer than any year from 1860 through 2005, a phenomenon the researchers termed “climate departure.” They said that while the size of temperature changes rises toward the poles, the tropics will face climate departure earlier because they have a smaller historical range of temperatures.

Today’s paper comes from LSE’s Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and the Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy, a collaboration between LSE and the University of Leeds that’s sponsored by the government-funded Economic and Social Research Council.

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