European temperatures have risen more than twice global average, UN says

© Pascal Pochard-Casabianca, AFP

Temperatures in Europe have increased at more than twice the global average over the past three decades, showing the fastest rise of any continent on earth, the UN said Wednesday.

The European region has on average seen temperatures rise 0.5 degrees Celsius each decade since 1991, the UN's World Meteorological Organization and the European Union's Copernicus Climate Change Service found in a joint report.

As a result, Alpine glaciers lost 30 metres (just under 100 feet) in ice thickness between 1997 and 2021, while the Greenland ice sheet is swiftly melting and contributing to accelerating sea level rise.

Last year, Greenland experienced melting and the first-ever recorded rainfall at its highest point.

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And the report cautioned that regardless of future levels of global warming, temperatures would likely continue to rise across Europe at a rate exceeding global mean temperature changes.

"Europe presents a live picture of a warming world and reminds us that even well-prepared societies are not safe from impacts of extreme weather events," WMO chief Petteri Taalas said in a statement.

The new report, released ahead of the UN's 27th conference on climate set to open in Egypt on Sunday, examined the situation in Europe up to and including 2021.


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