Europe is heating much faster than the global average. New data suggests that last year was the warmest on the records.
Over the last five years, global temperatures were just 1C warmer than at the end of the 19th century. However, in Europe, in the same period of time, they were almost 2C warmer. The data was published for the 50th Earth Day.
The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) says the psychological signs of climate change have gathered pace in the past five years.
The European State of the Climate 2019 shows that warmer conditions and heatwaves created droughts across the continent.
In many parts of central Europe, the temperature is getting warmer than the rest of the world. UK recorded a new-time high in Cambridge in July: the weather was 3-4C warmer.
This unusually hot summer was followed by numerous rainfalls. November was one of the wettest ever. Four times the normal amount of rainfall covered the western and southern parts of Europe.
“Europe has indeed been warming significantly faster than the global average,” said Prof Rowan Sutton, director of science at the UK’s National Centre for Atmospheric Science. “This is for two reasons. First, land regions in general are warming faster than the oceans, largely because the greater availability of moisture over the oceans damps the rate of warming.”
Researchers are worried because these figures suggest that the continent is breaching the promise made in the Paris climate change agreement to keep temperatures “well below” 2C. Taking our eyes off the climate change will bring catastrophic results.
“Failure to tackle this problem will threaten human well-being, ecosystems and economies for centuries” said Petteri Taalas, WMO’S ( World Meteorological Organisation) secretary general.
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