Europe ‘warming faster than climate models projected’, research suggests

Mercury thermometer marking 39 degrees Celsius 100 Fahrenheit in a sunny day. Summer heat shown on mercury thermometer against the blue sky. Sunlight with sun flares.
Temperatures in Europe are hotting up quicker than expected (Getty)

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.

FILE - In this file photo dated Thursday, July 25, 2019, a bird sits on a straw bale on a field in Frankfurt, Germany, as the sun rises during an ongoing heatwave in Europe. The U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said Thursday Aug. 15, 2019, that July was the hottest month measured on Earth since records began in 1880. (AP Photo/Michael Probst, FILE)
Extremely hot days in Europe have become hotter by an average of 4.14 degrees F (AP)

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.

A man sunbathes in Hyde Park in London on Tuesday July 19, 2016. It was the the hottest day of 2016 in Britain, according to the Met Office. (AP Photo/Adela Suliman)
Britain has experienced a series of mini heatwaves in 2019 (AP)

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.”

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