Global warming in Europe twice as high as anywhere else

Global warming in Europe twice as high as anywhere else in the world

Temperatures in Europe increased significantly over the period 1991-2021, with warming of about +0.5°C per decade, shows a report on climate in Europe published by the United Nations World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the United Nations Nations was created European climate protection service Copernicus. “This is the fastest warming of the six regions defined by the WMO,” said WMO Secretary-General Finn Petteri Taalas.

The Arctic, which is generally warming faster than Europe, is not considered a separate region by the organization.

As a result of rapid warming in Europe, Alpine glaciers lost 30 meters in thickness between 1997 and 2021. The Greenland ice sheet is gradually melting, helping to accelerate sea level rise. In the summer of 2021, Greenland recorded rain for the first time at its highest point.

“2021 saw a series of extreme weather and climate events. The floods that caused an unprecedented number of deaths and damage in western and central Europe in July and the fires that devastated south-eastern Europe this summer will live on in the memory and in the international climatological archives,” noted Petteri Taalas

reasons for hope?

These severe weather and climate events have caused hundreds of deaths in Europe, directly affected more than half a million people and caused $50 billion in damage, according to the WMO.

The report was released days before the opening of COP27, the UN climate change conference taking place in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt from November 6-18.

The Paris climate agreement concluded in 2015 aims to keep the rise in the average global temperature well below 2°C and, if possible, at 1.5°C. But international commitments leave the Earth on track for 2.6°C warming by the end of the century.

And in all regions of Europe, the rise in temperature will be above the planetary average, as we have seen so far, warns the WMO, a phenomenon linked to heat, forest fires, floods…

However, not all news is bad, assures the organization, which points out that several European countries are doing very well in reducing their greenhouse gas emissions.