Last month was the warmest October ever recorded in Europe, the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) announced on Tuesday, after a summer marked by record temperatures. The European continent is the one that warms up the fastest on Earth.
The average temperatures were “almost 2 degrees Celsius above the reference period 1991-2020”, stated Copernicus in a statement quoted by AFP. The European service, which has no comparable records before the period 1991-2020, had already announced that the summer of 2022 was the warmest ever recorded (about 1.34 degrees Celsius above normal temperatures).
“The serious consequences of climate change are now clear and we need ambitious climate action at COP27 to ensure that emissions are reduced in order to stabilize temperatures close to the 1.5 degree target set by the Paris Agreement” , commented Samantha Burgess, Deputy Director of the Copernicus Service.
According to the European service, “a heatwave led to record daily temperatures in Western Europe and a record-breaking October for Austria, Switzerland and France, as well as much of Italy and Spain.”
Europe, the fastest rate of warming
The European continent is the one that warms the fastest on Earth, environmentalists said. Over the past 30 years, Europe has seen a temperature increase more than twice the global average, warming by about 0.5 degrees Celsius per decade, according to a report by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and C3S, published on November 2.
In October, in some parts of the continent, this abnormally warm weather was combined, as during the summer, with a deficit of precipitation. “The weather was drier than average in most of southern Europe and the Caucasus,” reports Copernicus. Instead, “in the north-west of the Iberian Peninsula, in parts of France and Germany, in the UK and Ireland, in north-west Scandinavia and much of eastern Europe and in central Turkey, the weather was wetter than average”.
Since the end of the 19th century, the Earth has warmed by almost 1.2 degrees Celsius, with about half of this increase occurring in the last 30 years. This year is on track to be the fifth or sixth warmest on record, despite the 2020 impact of La Nina – a periodic, natural Pacific climate phenomenon that cools the atmosphere.