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.

STORMS

Weather: Germany braces for heavy rainfall through weekend

Thanks to the weather front ‘Peggy’, which is moving west over Germany, the Bundesrepublik is seeing storms strike and saying goodbye to summer weather.

Weather: Germany braces for heavy rainfall through weekend

Rain and strong gusts of winds were expected throughout Germany on Thursday, with the western part of the country to see the heaviest downpour, according to the German Weather Service (DWD).

The wet weather will intensify in the afternoon, moving north to Berlin and Hamburg.

The mercury was set to stretch between 17C and 25C throughout the country, according to DWD, with northern areas experiencing the coolest temperatures.

‘Long-awaited rainfall’

The storms were welcomed in drought-hit parts of western Germany, which has seen record heat over the past few years. 

“Peggy is a heroine. She is bringing long-awaited rainfall in the dry west,” wrote DWD in its weather report Thursday. 

READ ALSO: More floods, droughts, and heatwaves: How climate change will impact Germany

Yet they also pose a risk for flooding, particularly in parts of northwestern Germany, where between 30 and 50 liters of water per square meter were predicted to fall throughout the day.

“Even if the rain is certainly more of a blessing than a curse for many, these amounts also carry the risk of flooding streets or filling up cellars,” wrote DWD.

Rain will continue around the country on Friday. In the east and southeast, the sun is expected to shine again by the late afternoon, with the mercury reaching around 21C. 

Storms stretch into weekend

Saturday will likely be the coldest day of the week with highs of only 17C in some places, particularly along the coasts. Yet eastern regions will see the mercury rise between 18C and 22C.

The DWD advised to “keep an umbrella around as a faithful companion” as the wet weather continues.

On Sunday, stormy weather will slowly calm down and the showers will retreat to the southeast parts of the country. The mercury is set to hover around a nationwide average of 22C and 23C.

SHOW COMMENTS