Many European countries recorded their highest annual average temperatures last year and Europe will have experienced its warmest year on record. Temperatures across the continent were 1.9 ° C above the average, compared to annual temperatures from 1981 to 2010, according to a report. Many countries reported record temperatures: Spain, Belgium, the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Switzerland, Poland, Russia, Estonia, Lithuania, Belarus, Ukraine , Sweden, Norway and Finland. The results obtained from the compilation of records provided by countries and which were published in the 31st State of the Climate Report, unveiled by the American Meteorological Society, showed that the five hottest years on record in Europe have been performing since 2014.
Records of average annual anomalies of terrestrial temperatures in Europe from 1900 to 2020 for Europe, compared to the period 1981-2020
(Met Office. Source: Menne et al. (2018))
The report also found that 2020 was one of the three warmest years in the world. Dr Robert Dunn, a Met Office scientist who was the editor of the report's global climate chapter, said: “This report adds to all the other evidence that human-induced climate change affects all. parts of the globe, but not all regions are experiencing change at the same rate. “The Arctic continues to warm at a faster rate than lower latitudes, but Europe's annual average temperature is also rising quite rapidly. "The data revealed that average temperatures over land in the Arctic region last year were the highest since records began 121 years ago. The report, from more than 530 scientists from more than 60 countries, also noted that CO2 emissions from arctic forest fires were at their highest level since records began in 2003.
In addition, the proportion of the world's land area experiencing extreme drought in 2020 was the third highest since 1950, when only 16% of the ocean surface did not experience a marine heat wave. The report comes shortly after the publication of a landmark report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which found "unequivocal" evidence that humans are indeed the cause of global warming. "This report follows closely the latest IPCC report which could not be clearer in its message - our climate has changed and is likely to continue to change unless the key driver, greenhouse gases, is curbed. , and what we are seeing now is already straining our society and our environment, ” said Dr Kate Willett, a Met Office scientist who co-edited the report's global climate chapter.
The report does not cover 2021, which has seen us witness the pursuit of records in climatic extremes. It seems difficult to deny the reality as the dramatic evidence has followed one another this year. Earlier this month, temperatures on the Italian island of Sicily reached 48.8C amid a scorching heat wave sweeping much of southern Europe and northern Africa. If verified by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), it would be the hottest temperature on record in Europe. Parts of Europe also experienced record rainfall this summer, triggering devastating flooding in countries such as Germany, Belgium and Switzerland. A quick scan released on Monday found that record rains that caused flooding in Europe were made between 1.2 and nine times more likely by the climate crisis.
Professor Richard Betts, head of climate impact research at the Met Office and the University of Exeter, told The Independent: “Our global warming is now having very clear impacts, making heavy rains and more likely or more severe droughts in many parts of the world, increasing the risk of flooding and forest fires. “These weather risks will continue to increase if we continue to add greenhouse gases to the atmosphere through the combustion of fossil fuels and deforestation. "