Summer 2022, when the UK recorded its highest-ever temperature, has been dubbed "a sign of things to come" by the Met Office.

Last summer saw temperatures of 40C in parts of England with houses and trees being destroyed by wildfires.

2022 was found to be the hottest year ever on the Met Office records, which date back to 1884 and on the Central England Temperature record, which goes back to 1659.

The Met Office warned that this was a sign of the direction the world is travelling in, adding that if people continue to emit greenhouse gases, the planet would only get warmer.

Met Office warns that 2022 could be a cooler year by the standards of 2100 if trends continue

Mike Kendon, climate scientist and lead author for the State Of The UK Climate 2022 report, said the 40C peak was "a real moment of climate history".

He said: “This was a rare event in the context of the current climate but our extremes of temperature are changing faster than our mean temperature and we know that climate change increases the frequency, duration and spatial extent of heat waves.”

He added that by the current trajectory, 2022 would be considered a cooler year compared to the standards of 2100.

Professor Liz Bentley, chief executive of the Royal Meteorological Society, added: “If you look at future climate projections, we are on a path to go for hotter, drier summers.

“So 2022 for me was very much a sign of things to come in future years with our changing climate.”

Using data from a project called Nature's Calander, the effects of climate change on plants and animals were also assessed.

It was found that the UK experienced a mild February and warm October, meaning there was an early spring and late autumn.

Frita West, a research scientist with the Woodland Trust and report author, said that leaves were staying on trees 16 days longer than the 1999-2021 average with many flowers and insects emerging days earlier.

The UK's ten wettest years from 1836 onwards were also found to have occurred in the 21st Century.

Sea levels are also rising due to the melting of the ice sheets in the polar regions with the rate having doubled in recent years.

Report author Dr Svetlana Jevrejeva from the National Oceanography Centre said: “It is important which path we choose and which scenario we follow, but sea level will rise for the next few hundred years in any case.

“It just depends on what kind of rate of sea level rise we will see, because heat is already in the ocean and ice sheets have already started to lose ice mass and the glaciers are disappearing.

“To get to equilibrium point it will take a few hundred years. We try to communicate our science and to make clear our understanding of what could happen. That’s our role and that’s what we do.”