Summer 2022 is hottest on record for Europe says Copernicus data

Data revealed that Europe had record August temperatures, as well as record temperatures for the overall summer period

According to Copernicus Climate Change Service data, Europe experienced its hottest summer on record in 2022. The firm said the average temperature over Europe was the highest on record for both August and the summer period (June – August), by margins of 0.8-degrees Celsius over 2018 for August, and 0.4C over 2021 for summer. It added that European temperatures were most above average in the east of the continent in August, but were still well above average in the south-west, where they had been high in June and July.

The firm highlighted that heatwaves were prevalent in the aforementioned parts of Europe, and over central and eastern China for all three summer months. North America also experienced one of its warmest summers, according to Copernicus’ data.

Additionally, the organisation said that, globally, the average August 2022 temperature was 0.3-degrees Celsius higher than the 1991-2020 average for the month, and the joint third warmest August on record. The values were similar to those for August 2017 and 2021, and within about 0.1C of the higher values reached in August 2016 and 2019, Copernicus explained.

In May 2022, the WMO said there’s a 50:50 chance of global temperature temporarily reaching the 1.5C threshold in five years. In June, in an exclusive interview with Middle East Construction News (MECN), KEO’s Ioannis Spanos said reducing GHG emissions requires a coordinated approach.

“An intense series of heatwaves across Europe paired with unusually dry conditions, have led to a summer of extremes with records in terms of temperature, drought and fire activity in many parts of Europe, affecting society and nature in various ways. The Copernicus Climate Change Service data shows that we’ve not only had record August temperatures for Europe but also for summer, with the previous summer record only being one year old,” said Senior Scientist for the Copernicus Climate Change Service, Freja Vamborg.

European Union fire monitoring services have said that the area is on track for a new wildfire record this year.

The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) is managed by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts on behalf of the European Commission with funding from the European Union (EU). It regularly shares monthly climate bulletins reporting on the changes observed in global surface air temperature, sea ice cover and hydrological variables. All the findings are based on computer-generated analyses using billions of measurements from satellites, ships, aircraft and weather stations around the world, Copernicus explained.

In July, in an exclusive interview with MECN, WSP Middle East’s Sophia Kee said, “We have 93% certainty within the next five years of hitting new temperature highs”.

Discussing hydrological conditions in August, the organisation noted that the month was generally much drier than average in much of western and parts of eastern Europe. In contrast, it noted that it was wetter-than average over most of Scandinavia and parts of southern and southeastern Europe. Southern regions were hit by a ‘derecho’ storm, with extreme winds and rainfall, it said.

Conditions were also wetter than average in many extratropical regions of North America and Asia: in many locations heavy precipitation triggered floods and inundations. Pakistan saw particularly severe conditions with record breaking rainfall, the firm said.

It also highlighted that among the drier-than-average extratropical regions, parts of China experienced severe drought.

In early September, a youth movement called for global leaders to take “urgent and bold climate adaption action”.

Showcasing Boreal summer 2022 hydrological conditions, the firm noted that summer 2022 was characterised by hot and dry conditions over much of western Europe. In much of Scandinavia, regions of central and south-eastern Europe, Greece and western Turkey, conditions were predominantly wetter than average.

Finally, it concluded that in boreal summer 2022, it was drier than average in central North and South America and across central Asia. The Horn of Africa continued to experience drought. Conditions were predominantly wetter-than-average in south Asia, particularly in Pakistan, in eastern Australia and in most of southern Africa, the organised concluded.

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