climate reportIn terms of weather, 2021 was ‘a year of extremes’ for Europe, climate researchers working for the European Union conclude in their annual report. The summer was the warmest on record, western European countries were ravaged by floods and the Mediterranean was suffering from drought and forest fires.
The contrasts in 2021 are particularly striking, writes Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) in the European State of the Climate report. Over the whole year, the average temperature was only 0.2 degrees higher than the average for the past three decades. This was mainly because the spring was cooler than usual and the frost lasted for a long time. Temperature records were broken in the summer.
Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands were hit by severe flooding after extreme rainfall, the authors of the report recall. An unofficial heat record of 48.8 degrees was set in Italy. Parts of that country, Greece and Turkey, suffered devastating wildfires. In total, 800,000 hectares of nature reserve in the Mediterranean area went up in flames, the report calculates. That equates to twice the surface area of the province of North Holland.
The European head of Earth observation Mauro Facchini calls this kind of data essential to achieve the European climate goals. He warns, following the UN panel of climate scientists IPCC that “time is running out” to limit global warming to less than 1.5 degrees compared to pre-industrial time. “This report highlights the need to act as extreme climate-related events are already occurring in Europe,” said Facchini.
A setback in renewable energy generation in the past year was the low wind speed in parts of Western and Central Europe. This problem occurred in countries such as Germany, Ireland, the United Kingdom, the Czech Republic and Denmark. As a result, windmills rotated less quickly and therefore supplied less green energy than normal. In some places it hadn’t blown as little since 1979 as in 2021, according to Copernicus.
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2021 was ‘extreme’ year with warmest summer, floods in Europe and forest fires | Inland
Source link 2021 was ‘extreme’ year with warmest summer, floods in Europe and forest fires | Inland