The hottest summer on record last year
Europeans endured the hottest summer on record last year, with wildfires, floods and intense heatwaves hitting the continent, according to a report by EU scientists released Friday.
Summer temperatures were about 1 degree Celsius above the average over the past three decades, with Italy even recording temperatures of 48.8C – a provisional record for the whole of Europe.
A particularly bad heat wave in the Mediterranean helped to ignite severe wildfires which burned more than 800,000 hectares in countries including Greece, Turkey, and Italy. Meanwhile, record rainfall led to devastating floods across Belgium and western Germany that killed more than 200 people.
The report, published yearly by the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), draws on satellite observations, on-site measurements, and computer models to provide an update on the state of the continent’s climate.
Globally, the last seven years have been the warmest on record. Last year, however, was slightly cooler compared to recent years as temperatures were tempered by a La Nina weather pattern which cools sea temperatures in the north of the globe.
The report also found that 2021 sea surface temperatures in parts of the Baltic and Mediterranean sea were the highest since satellite records began in the early 1990s.