Global warming is twice as fast in Europe, climate report says
“2021 presented a vivid picture of a warming world and reminded us that even the societies we think are more prepared are not immune to the severe impacts of extreme weather events,” said the WMO Secretary-General. Peteri Taalas wrote in the foreword of the report, noting the exceptional floods and forest fires that took place on the continent last year.
More than half a million people were “directly affected” by major weather and climate events, mostly hurricanes or floods, costing more than $50 billion, the report said.
The report noted exceptionally high temperatures and heat waves, including what is believed to have been a European record of 48.8 degrees Celsius (120 degrees Fahrenheit). measured in Sicily, ItalyIn August 2021.
The rise in temperature also had a significant impact on Europe’s glaciers. The Alps recorded a loss of 30 meters of ice thickness between 1997 and 2021, and the melting of the Greenland ice sheet contributed to global sea level rise.
Europe has seen more temperature records this year, with England and France experiencing their own driest July on recordBritain records its highest temperature ever104.5 degrees and glaciers melting at an unprecedented rate.
Extreme weather events were also recorded in the winter, with unusually heavy snow affecting Spain and Norway, and unexpected cold causing serious damage to vineyards and other crops in the winter of 2021.
Meanwhile, world leaders and diplomats are gearing up for this year’s UN climate change summit, known as COP27, in the Egyptian resort town of Sharm el-Sheikh.
The report acknowledged some progress in the European Union’s fight against climate change, highlighting a 31 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions in the region between 1990 and 2020. The alliance had previously set a goal of cutting emissions by 55 percent from 1990 levels by 2030.
WMO chief Taalas called on Europe to continue its climate change mitigation goals, calling it “a necessary requirement to limit global temperature increases to below 2 degrees Celsius, while making efforts to limit the increase to 1.5 degrees, as outlined in the Paris Agreement.”
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