2019 has been the hottest year in Europe to date: the EU


Paris (AFP)

Last year was the hottest in history in Europe, with temperature records shattered by a series of extreme heat waves, the European Union’s satellite surveillance area said on Wednesday.

In its annual report on the state of the climate, the European service Copernicus on climate change (C3S) declared that 11 of the 12 hottest years ever recorded on the continent occurred since 2000 whereas the emissions of greenhouse gases continued to increase.

Warm conditions and summer heat waves contributed to widespread drought in southern Europe, while regions of the Arctic were nearly one degree Celsius warmer than a typical year, the report said.

Overall, temperatures across Europe have been 2C warmer in the past five years than they were in the second half of the 19th century, C3S data showed.

2019 in the world was the second warmest only compared to 2016, a year that experienced an exceptional warming event in El Nino.

C3S director Carlo Buontempo said that while 2019 was the hottest year on record in Europe, it was important to focus on the long-term heating of the continent.

“An exceptional hot year is not a warming trend, but to have detailed information from our operational service, which covers many different aspects of our climate, we are able to link the dots to learn more about its evolution” , did he declare. .

Certain regions of Europe experienced periods up to 4 ° C warmer than last year’s historical reference, and the heat waves – notably in June and July – saw temperature records break in France, in Germany and Great Britain.

The Paris climate agreement commits nations to limit global temperature increases to “well below” 2 ° C above pre-industrial levels.

To do this, and to hope to reach the more ambitious ceiling of 1.5 C of warming of the agreement, the UN has declared that emissions from the use of fossil fuels should fall by 7.6% per year d ‘by 2030.

– “Massive emission reductions” –

While levels of carbon pollution are expected to drop significantly in 2020 due to the economic slowdown of the pandemic, there is concern that emissions will go up once a vaccine is found.

“The response to the COVID-19 crisis could exacerbate the climate crisis if the bailouts of the fossil fuel industry and fossil-intensive sectors are not conditional on a transition to clean technologies,” said Cameron Hepburn, Director of the Smith School of Oxford University. Business and environment.

Andrew Shepherd, director of the Center for Polar Observation and Modeling at the University of Leeds, said the C3S data were all the more worrisome as they foreshadowed the accelerated melting of Greenland’s ice cap.

“We cannot avoid the rapid climate changes that are happening around our planet, even if they happen miles away in the polar regions, because they are affecting our time today and will affect our coasts in the future”, did he declare.

Anna Jones, climatologist at the British Antarctic Survey, said she was not surprised by the results of the C3S.

“Concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are stubbornly increasing due to human activity,” she said.

“With this increase, there are changes in our climate – global warming trends and extreme weather events. “

“For things to get better, we need massive reductions in greenhouse gas emissions – there is no other way,” added Jones.


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