England faces a "significant and substantial increase" in the likelihood of record-breaking hot years as a result of man-made climate change, scientists have said.
In 2014, central England experienced its hottest year in the Central England Temperature (CET) record, the longest running instrumental temperature record in the world, which dates back to 1659.
Now researchers have used computer modelling and analysis of historical records to show that the chances of record-breaking warm years have become much more likely as a result of human activity.
The results showed man-made, or anthropogenic, climate change could be seen to be having an impact on temperatures, despite the naturally variable climate of central England from year to year and the small region of the world the CET record covers.
The scientists used climate models to calculate how likely very warm years would be if temperatures just varied naturally without any human influence, such as burning fossil fuels, and compared it with the likelihood of such hot years when there were both natural and human effects.
The modelling revealed that human influence made it 13 times more likely there would be a hot year like 2014 in central England, according to the study by the researchers published in the journal Environmental Research Letters.
The researchers also looked at the CET record, and picked out the warmest years since 1900 which they used to calculate the likelihood of a very warm year happening now and the likelihood of such a year occurring a hundred years ago.
This method suggested there was a 22-fold increase in the likelihood of a very warm year in the climate of today compared to the climate of a century ago.
Dr Andrew King, from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science at the University of Melbourne, who led the study, said: "Both our approaches show that there is a significant and substantial increase in the likelihood of very warm years occurring in central England."
Commenting on the research, Dr Peter Stott, head of climate monitoring and attribution at the Met Office Hadley Centre, said: "This new research adds another piece of evidence that human-induced climate change is increasing the chances of record-breaking temperatures around the world including in the UK.
"At the Met Office we produced similar research late last year showing how climate change had made UK record breaking temperatures about 10 times more likely."
The Central England Temperature series has records of average daily temperatures dating back to 1772 and monthly records of average temperatures dating back to 1659.
It represents a roughly triangular area stretching from Lancashire in the north to Bristol in the south west and London in the south east of England.
According to the CET, 2014 was the warmest year on record for central England, while Met Office data also showed last year was the hottest for the UK in records dating back to 1910, with temperatures 1.1C (2F) above the long-term average.