In recent years we have seen a long-term trend of record breaking temperatures around the world. In fact, it often feels like a new weather record is reported every year. The planet is warming at a pace not experienced within the past 1,000 years, with the average global temperature now peaking at 1.38C above levels experienced in the 19th century and perilously close to the 1.5C limit agreed in the landmark Paris climate accord. As the planet continues to warm from the increase in greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, the temperatures that we consider to be normal are also rising. According to NASA, the increasing pace of warming means that the world will heat up at a rate “at least” 20 times faster than the historical average over the coming 100 years. But as the world warms up, so does Europe.
Much of Europe’s summers are now sweltering, and frequently include record breaking temperatures, made significantly more likely by global warming. Such temperatures will become the norm by 2050, scientists have warned, unless action is taken to rapidly cut carbon emissions. We’ve analysed the hottest days on record for countries in Europe to find out just how many of them occurred in recent years. A huge 56% of countries in Europe have had their hottest day on record between 2000 and 2007 - to put that into perspective, only 24% had their hottest day between 70s and 90s and 21% of countries had their hottest day before 1970, which proves Europe is heating up; fairly rapidly. One thing is clear, climate change is making our summers hotter, and riskier. Higher temperatures could have a drastic effect on the world’s regions, and the scale of potential impact is uncertain. The changes could drive shortages in freshwater, bring about major changes in food production conditions and cause a rise in the number of casualties from floods, storms, heat waves and droughts. What temperatures will next year bring?