SHARE
COPY LINK

WEATHER

June was hottest month EVER in Europe and climate change made heatwave ‘five times’ more likely

Last month was the hottest June ever recorded with soaring temperatures worldwide capped off by a record-breaking heatwave across Western Europe, satellite data showed Tuesday.

June was hottest month EVER in Europe and climate change made heatwave 'five times' more likely

Global readings taken by the EU-ran Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) showed European temperatures were around 2C hotter than normal, and globally Earth was 0.1C hotter than the previous June record.

The heatwave last week smashed national records for the hottest single day as scorching weather spread across Europe from the Sahara. It was so intense that temperatures were as much as 10C higher than normal across France, Germany, northern Spain and Italy.

The Copernicus team said it was difficult to attribute the record-breaking month “directly” to climate change, but a separate analysis Tuesday from an international team of scientists said global warming had made the heatwave at least five times more likely. 

Compared to June weather stretching back more than a century, the peak from June 26-28 was four degrees Celsius warmer than an equally rare heatwave would have been in 1900, the World Weather Attribution team told journalists in a briefing.

The role of global warming in the devastating hot spell, which also paralysed neighbouring European countries for nearly a week, is probably much greater, said Friederike Otto, acting director of the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford

“Models are very good at representing large-scale seasonal changes in temperatures,” she explained.

“On localised scales, climate models tend to underestimate the increase in temperature.”

The findings, presented as a report and to be published in a peer-reviewed journal, focused on metropolitan France and the southern French city of Toulouse, where climate statisticians were coincidentally meeting during the heatwave. 

Based purely on temperature records, extreme scorchers like the one last week are now 100 times more likely than in 1900, said Geert Jan van Oldenborgh, a senior researcher at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute and co-author of the new report.

“But we are unable to say that this is just because of climate change,” he said.

Air pollution, the “urban heat island” effect, soil moisture, cloud cover and a host of other factors can also affect the intensity of heatwaves.

And models designed to work on a different scale are consistently “biased” such that they underestimate temperature peaks.

France, Italy, Spain and some central European nations all posted all-time temperatures peaks, with dozens of deaths attributed to the week-long heatwave.

The final death toll is likely to be far higher, but will only show up months from now in statistical records as “excess deaths”.

A 2003 heatwave in France claimed at least 15,000 lives, according to government figures.

 

 

 

READ ALSO: 

 

 

 

Member comments

Log in here to leave a comment.
Become a Member to leave a comment.

WEATHER

Italy braces for first heatwave of the year with highs of over 30C

Temperatures are set to rise dramatically across Italy this weekend as the country prepares for its first real heatwave of the year, meteorologists said on Friday.

Italy braces for first heatwave of the year with highs of over 30C

People across Italy are preparing to head to the beach this weekend with unseasonably hot weather predicted to last for several days.

The heatwave is caused by an anticyclone named  ‘Hannibal’ sweeping in from Tunisia and Algeria, bringing hot air currents across the Mediterranean and as far north as Denmark and Poland, reports news agency Ansa.

Temperatures are forecast to rise above 32-33°C in parts of the Italian north including Veneto, Trentino Alto Adige, and Emilia Romagna, before the heatwave expands towards the centre and south of the country over the course of the weekend.

The weather is already 8°C above the seasonal average for this time of year, according to Antonio Sanò, founder of the Italian weather site IlMeteo.it, and temperatures could rise by as much as 10°C.

READ ALSO: From Venice to Mont Blanc, how is the climate crisis affecting Italy?

In a typical year these kinds of highs wouldn’t be seen until July, Sanò said.

The incoming heatwave will be particularly humid as the anticyclone is carrying moisture from the Mediterranean sea, according to IlMeteo.

However, the relative cool of the Mediterranean basin at this time of year will contain the heat and keep the temperatures from rising into the high 30s, as would happen if the same type of weather event occurred in August.

READ ALSO: Nine in 10 Italians ‘want more action on climate crisis’, new study finds

The heatwave will stretch over the weekend and continue into next week, peaking on Tuesday, according to weather reports.

Patchy thunderstorms typical of midsummer weather are anticipated in the Alps and the Po Valley, while the centre-south is set to experience hot and sunny conditions bar some isolated storms in the mountains of Abruzzo on Sunday.

SHOW COMMENTS