Warming in Europe reached 2°C on average in 2021, EU data shows

(EurActiv, 22 Apr 2022) Europe endured record extreme weather in 2021, from the hottest day and the warmest summer to deadly wildfires and flooding, the European Union’s climate monitoring service reported Friday (22 April).

While Earth’s surface was nearly 1.2 degrees Celsius warmer than pre-industrial levels last year, Europe saw an average increase of more than two degrees, a threshold beyond which dangerous extreme weather events become more likely and intense, the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) said.

The warmest summer on record featured a heatwave along the Mediterranean rim lasting weeks and the hottest day ever registered in Europe, a blistering 48.8°C in Sicily.

In Greece, high temperatures fuelled deadly wildfires described by the prime minister as the country’s “greatest ecological disaster in decades”.

Forests and homes across more than 8,000 square kilometres were burned to the ground.

Meanwhile, a slow-moving, low-pressure system over Germany broke the record in mid-July for the most rain dumped in a single day.

The downpour was nourished by another unprecedented weather extreme, surface water temperatures over part of the Baltic Sea were more than 5°C above average.

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EurActiv, 22 Apr 2022: Warming in Europe reached 2°C on average in 2021, EU data shows