March 27, 2023

Europe was hit by a extreme winter heatwave in late December and early January, bringing record-high temperatures.

Europe is rising from its second-warmest winter on file as local weather change continues to accentuate.

The typical temperature in Europe from December to February was 1.4 levels Celsius (2.8 levels Fahrenheit) above the 1991–2020 common for the Boreal winter season, in accordance with information revealed by the European Union’s Copernicus Local weather Change Service (C3S).

That ranks as Europe’s second warmest winter on file, exceeded solely by the winter of 2019-20.

Europe skilled a extreme winter heatwave in late December and early January, when record-high temperatures hit nations from France to Hungary, forcing ski resorts to shut due to an absence of snow.

The European Fee stated on January 2 lots of of temperature data had been damaged throughout the continent, together with the Swiss city of Altdorf reaching 19.2C (66.5F), smashing a file standing since 1864.

C3S stated temperatures had been notably excessive in Japanese Europe and the north of Nordic nations. Whereas total temperatures in Europe had been above the norm, some areas had been beneath common, together with elements of Russia and Greenland.

‘Path to extinction’

Scientists say Europe’s winters have gotten hotter on account of rising world temperatures due to human-caused local weather change.

The unusually delicate winter supplied some short-term reduction to governments battling excessive fuel costs after Russia slashed gas deliveries to Europe final yr, with increased temperatures curbing fuel demand for heating in lots of nations.

However the excessive temperatures pose dangers to wildlife and agriculture. Winter temperature spikes may cause crops to begin rising or coax animals out of hibernation prematurely, making them susceptible to being killed off by later chilly snaps.

Tilly Collins, deputy director of Imperial School London’s Middle for Environmental Coverage, stated the altering local weather meant crops and animals had been struggling to maneuver to new places to keep up their ideally suited temperature.

“For species with small populations or restricted ranges this could simply tip them on a path to extinction,” Collins stated.

Copernicus pointed to different climate-linked extremes, together with Antarctic sea icewhich final month dropped to its lowest degree for any February within the 45-year file of satellite tv for pc information.

“These low sea ice situations might have necessary implications for the soundness of Antarctic ice cabinets and finally for world sea degree rise,” stated C3S Deputy Director Samantha Burgess.

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