Last seven years were hottest on record according to EU climate monitoring report

Last seven years were hottest on record according to EU climate monitoring report

THE LAST seven years have globally been the hottest on record, according to a new report from European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service.

The service's annual report found that Europe experienced a summer of extremes with severe heatwaves in the Mediterranean and floods in Central Europe, while global concentrations of carbon dioxide and methane continue to increase.

The continent experienced its warmest summer on record, though close to previous warmest summers in 2010 and 2018.

Globally, 2021 was the fifth warmest year on record, but only marginally warmer than 2015 and 2018. The annual average temperature was 0.3°C above the temperature of the 1991-2020 reference period, and 1.1-1.2°C above the pre-industrial level of 1850-1900.

Carbon emissions from wildfires worldwide amounted overall to 1850 megatonnes, especially fuelled by fires in Siberia. This was slightly higher than last year (1750 megatonnes of carbon emissions), although, the trend since 2003 is declining.

Compared to this latest 30-year reference period, regions with most above average temperatures include a band stretching from the west coast of the USA and Canada to north-eastern Canada and Greenland, as well as large parts of central and northern Africa and the Middle East.

The most below-average temperatures were found in western and easternmost Siberia, Alaska, over the central and eastern Pacific – concurrent with La Niña conditions at the beginning and the end of the year –, as well as in most of Australia and in parts of Antarctica.

Several high-impact extreme events happened during summer 2021 in Europe. July saw a very heavy rainfall event in western central Europe in a region with soils close to saturation, leading to severe floods in several countries, with the most heavily impacted including Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.

The European record for maximum temperature was broken in Sicily, where 48.8°C was reported, 0.8°C above the previous high, though this new record is still to be officially confirmed by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).