Last week the Met Office at Ronaldsway confirmed that 2022 was the warmest year ever recorded in the Isle of Man.

The year was also the warmest one on record for both the UK and the Republic of Ireland. 

Mean annual temperatures are based on recordings made every day of the year.

They starts with the mean (average) of the temperatures taken each day.

These are then used to calculate the mean temperature for each month.

Finally the average of the mean monthly temperatures is calculated.

Last year, the mean temperature for every month except December was higher than the long-term average for the Isle of Man.

The Met Office has been based at Ronaldsway since the airport opened in 1947 and in 2022 the station marked its 75th full year of continuous data.

For only the second time in three quarters of a century, the mean annual temperature was calculated at over 11C.

The previous record of 11.09C was established in 2014 but the figure recorded in 2022 was higher, at 11.14C. Earlier record years since 2000 were 2007, 2006 and 2004.

The graph shows how mean annual temperatures have changed in the Isle of Man since the Met Office opened.

It uses the mean annual temperature from 1971 to 2000 as a baseline (climate data is usually based on a 30-year average). Those years recorded an average of 9.8C.

The blue/red stripes show how each year compared with that average. Some years, shaded blue, had a mean temperature below the average.

Other years, shaded red, had a mean temperature above average. The scale is shown to the right of the graph.

The darker the blue, the colder the year.

We can see that the coldest year since the records began was 1963 (8.49C) when the mean annual temperature was more than 1.2C lower than the average.

From the 1950s to the 1980s it was normal for the annual temperatures to be below the 1971-2000 average. Thirty of these years were colder than average. 

The darker the red stripes, the warmer the year. The years 2014 and 2022 stand out as the years shaded darkest red with temperatures more than 1.2C above the average.

Since 1990, there have been just three years with annual temperatures below the 1971-2000 average.

From the left to the right, as the stripes change from blue to red, the graph shows how temperatures recorded in the Isle of Man have risen.

Data from the island’s Met Office clearly show the warming that has been taking place.

Climate warming stripes like this have emerged from weather stations around the world – no part of the globe is immune from the effects of global warming.

Globally, the average temperature for 2022 is not expected to break the record.

The senior meteorologist at Ronaldsway, Adrian Cowin, has highlighted some of the technical factors involved in the global picture: ‘It’s interesting that, in line with expectations from international climate change models, many parts of the planet have seen some further extreme weather events, as well as new record-breaking climatic records for rainfall and/or temperatures, across all seasons in 2022.

‘This can be linked to various atmospheric events eg jet-stream meandering and blocking and disruption of the Polar Vortex, as well the ocean-atmosphere effects for the third successive year of La Nina cooling the tropical parts of the central and eastern Pacific.

‘Closer to home, many European countries experienced some extreme rainfall events as well as wildfires and “heatwaves”, and several national temperature records were broken.’

Returning to the Isle of Man, it was not just the annual temperature record that was broken.

The year 2022 was also the sunniest year on record with 1,848.5 hours. 

Other notable island figures include rainfall of 784.3mm (about 100mm below average) and nine days of thunderstorms, compared to the long-term average of 3.5 days.

It should be noted that the climate change recorded in the Isle of Man is not simply linked to greenhouse gas emissions.

In part, the data captured at Ronaldsway reflect the air masses that pass over the British Isles as well as local conditions, such as cloud cover, that occur in the Isle of Man.

It is sometimes observed that the island’s contribution to global climate change is tiny – just a ‘drop in the ocean’.

That is, of course, true... but the ocean is made up of drops! 

The population of the Isle of Man is similar to Chester or Halifax and we have as much responsibility as any other group of 84,000 people to play our part in tackling the global climate crisis.

The Isle of Man Climate Change Plan 2022-2027 identifies our 2018 emissions baseline at the equivalent of 682,000 tonnes of CO2 per year, which is high considering our population size, and maps out how that will be reduced.

The island is committed to an ambitious target of a 35% reduction on this figure by 2030, just seven years away.

At every level – government departments, local authorities, companies and households – we need to be playing our part. 

The new 2022 Energy Efficiency Scheme (DEFA) and the Green Living Grant Scheme (DfE) can both provide support for energy efficiency in the home.