Europe Warming Twice As Fast As Rest of the World, New Report Reveals

The European continent is bearing the brunt of climate change, warming at a rate that is twice as fast as the global average, a new report by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) found. The report analyzed 30 years’ worth of data from 1991 onwards, revealing a disconcerting trend of speedy warming across Europe that is faster than the warming experienced by any other continent. Average temperatures in Europe were rising at a rate of 0.5 degrees Celsius (0.9 degrees Fahrenheit) per decade over the studied period, reaching an overall average of 2.2 degrees C (4 degrees F) above pre-industrial levels. That is way above the 1.5 degree C (2.7 degrees F) limit set by the international climatology community with the goal of minimizing devastating environmental effects of climate change.

The report, which was compiled in cooperation with the European Earth-observation program Copernicus, stated that Europeans are already feeling the pinch of this warming. According to estimates, the summer of 2022 was the driest in 500 years, with widespread water shortage and wildfires affecting even those nations that are usually accustomed to wetter summers. Alpine glaciers lost about one hundred feet (30 meters) in ice thickness from 1997 to 2021 as a result of the warming, according to the report. In 2021 alone, weather related disasters, mostly related to floods and storms, caused damages worth $50 billion across all European countries.

Scientists don’t know exactly why Europe is warming so fast, Samantha Burgess, deputy director for climate change services at Copernicus told in a previous interview. The fast-paced warming may have something to do with the proximity of the Arctic, which is by far the world’s fastest warming region. “We know that the Arctic is warming about three times faster than the global average rate,” Burgess told last year. “It’s already 3 degrees C [5.4 degrees F] warmer than in the pre-industrial times. It is quite complicated to unpick the scientific reasons behind why the warming is happening so much faster there.” […] The new WMO report states that regardless of emission reduction efforts, temperatures in all regions of Europe will continue to rise at a rate higher than the global average.