Europe ‘warming faster than climate models projected’, research suggests
Britain has experienced a series of mini heatwaves in 2019 and new research suggests that Europe as a whole is warming up faster than expected.
According to research published in the Geophysical Research Letters journal, the number of days in summer that experienced extreme heat has tripled across the continent since the 1950s.
Those extremely hot days have warmed up by some 2.3 degrees Celsius (4.14 degrees Fahrenheit), according to the research.
That trend has also meant the number of days with extreme cold has more than halved.
Over 90% of weather stations across Europe showed that climate was warming - and experts lay the blame squarely on climate change.
Ruth Lorenz, a climate scientist at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, said in a statement: “Even at this regional scale over Europe, we can see that these trends are much larger than what we would expect from natural variability.
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“That’s really a signal from climate change.”
Europe has seen record-breaking temperatures in 2019, with Britain experiencing its hottest-ever July day when thermometers rocketed to 38.1C.
Southern France also saw temperatures of 46C in June - a new record, while July was the hottest month ever recorded on Earth.
Geert Jan van Oldenborgh, a climate analyst at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, said of the research: “In the Netherlands, Belgium, France, the model trends are about two times lower than the observed trends.”
He added: “We’re reaching new records faster than you’d expect.”