Britain is on course for the warmest year since records began, according to figures from the Met Office and the University of East Anglia yesterday. Temperatures logged by weather stations across England reveal 2006 to have been unusually mild, with a mean temperature of 10.84C. The record beats the previous two joint hottest years of 1999 and 1990 by 0.21C.

Temperatures in central England have been recorded since 1659, the world’s longest climate record, and they indicate the trend towards warming weather across Britain as a whole.

Experts are convinced that the warming can only be explained by rising greenhouse gases from human activity and rule out the impact of natural variations, such as the sun’s intensity. “Our climate models show we should be getting warmer and drier weather in the summer, and warmer and wetter in the winter, and that’s exactly what we’re seeing,” said Phil Jones, director of the climatic research unit at the University of East Anglia. “I cannot see how else this can be explained.”

The record year has astounded scientists. “What’s phenomenal about this year is that some of these months have broken records by incredible amounts. This year it was 0.8C warmer in autumn and 0.5C warmer between April and October than the previous warmest years. Normally these records are broken by around one tenth of a degree or so,” said Prof Jones.

And to show the hypocrisy of it all by the media, The Times reports on the story about Britain’s hottest years saying we must all do something and then has an article on “long-haul” ski properties. You couldn’t make this stuff up (especially given the next blog).