Home LATEST NEWS 2021, a year of climatic disasters in Europe

2021, a year of climatic disasters in Europe


Since the pre-industrial era, the planet has gained between 1.1 and 1.2°C, but Europe is warming faster, with an average temperature rise of +2°C, notes the European service on climate change Copernicus Climate (C3S).

This warming is already increasing extreme weather events around the world, and Europe is not spared.

2021 has been a year of extremes, including the hottest summer in Europe, heat waves in the Mediterranean, floods and a lack of wind, showing that understanding weather and climate extremes is increasingly important for key sectors of societycommented in a press release Carlo Buontempo, director of Copernicus.

Even though the whole year is not among the 10 hottest on the continent, the report confirms that the summer of 2021 was the hottest on record in Europe, 1°C above the average of the last 30 years. .

This particularly hot summer was marked in particular by particularly intense heat waves lasting several weeks, with the mercury rising to 48.8°C in Sicily, a new European record (which has yet to be officially approved), or 47°C in Spain, new national record.

Heat accompanied by persistent drought has affected the Mediterranean in particular, creating conditions conducive to fires, particularly in Italy, Greece and Turkey.

A total area of ​​800,000 hectares went up in smoke in July and August, making this fire season one of the most intense in Europe for 30 years.

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Devastating floods

Conversely, after record rainfall on July 14, 2021, Germany and Belgium were ravaged by floods that left more than 200 dead and billions of euros in damage; an episode whose probability has been increased by 20 to 900% due to warming, according to World Weather Attribution researchers.

And an episode of late frost in the spring, when nature had already budded, damaged a number of vines and fruit trees, from France to northern Greece.

For now, the clearest imprint of climate change in Europe is the intensification of heat waves. But, scientists say, other extreme events will follow the same trajectory. We expect them to increase in the futurewarns Freja Vamborg, lead author of the report.

This inventory of the European climate also shows the even faster warming of the Arctic, with an average of +3°C compared to the pre-industrial era.

The North melts and burns

While 2021 is not a record year for the Arctic, the temperature recorded there was still 0.4°C higher than normal, and fires have ravaged the region, particularly eastern Siberia, releasing 16 million tonnes of carbon (fourth highest volume since measurements began in 2003).

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The Greenland sea ice, for its part, has melted like never before, recording its lowest extent ever measured, at 72% below normal. Under the influence of higher than normal temperatures and southerly winds, the ice largely melted during the summer, leaving eastern Greenland virtually ice-free by the end of the season.

°C”,”text”:”Scientists, including the IPCC [les experts en climat de l’ONU]warned us that time is running out to limit global warming to +1.5°C”}}”>Scientists, including the IPCC [les experts en climat de l’ONU]have warned us that time is running out to limit warming to +1.5°Cthe most ambitious goal of the Paris Agreement, commented Mauro Facchini, Director of Earth Observation at the European Commission.

In its latest report published at the beginning of April, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) stressed in particular that the economy had to be completely reformed and emissions capped within less than three years to hope to maintain a world livable.

The Copernicus Report stresses the need for action; climate-related extreme events are already happening in Europeinsisted Mauro Facchini.

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