Europe records hottest summer this year as Mediterranean heat soars

 Wednesday, September 8, 2021 

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Europe experienced its hottest summer on record this year.

Temperatures in the Mediterranean smashed records by large margins, the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service said Tuesday.

Like much of the Northern Hemisphere, Europe was battered by extreme weather events over recent months

Such unprecedented weather conditions include record levels of rain that triggered deadly floods in Germany and Belgium

Heatwaves also contributed to wildfires in the south of the region.

The average temperature from the early June till August end was around 0.1 degrees Celsius warmer than the previous hottest summers in 2010 and 2018.

This reflects the longer-term trend of human-caused global warming.

The year 2020 was also the hottest on record for Europe overall.

The increase in temperatures was not evenly distributed.

Southern Europe broke heat records and the east was warmer than average, northern Europe experienced below-average summer heat.

Italy recorded a temperature of 48.8 degrees C (119.8 degrees F) on August 11 in Sicily.

The hottest before that was 48.0 C in Athens, Greece in 1977.

There was extreme heat in Greece and Turkey which experienced destructive wildfires.

A recent analysis by the World Weather Attribution project also found that climate change had made the German and Belgian floods more likely.

Like wildfires, flooding can also be related to high temperatures.

Sustained heat can worsen drought conditions

But it can also increase the amount of water vapour held in the atmosphere making rainfall heavier, even if it is less frequent.

A report published in August by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change projected that regardless of how much global temperatures rise, Europe is a region that will get hotter.

Critical thresholds for humans and the region’s ecosystems will be exceeded if global warming reaches 2 C or more.

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