EU warming above average

8th September 2014


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Author

Sarah Lindsay

The latest climate change indicators analysed by the European Environment Agency (EEA) show the annual average land temperature in Europe for the years 2004-13 was 1.3°C above pre-industrial levels, making it the warmest 10-year period on record

The indicator for global and European temperature reveals the average temperature across European land areas increased more than the global average temperature for both land and ocean, and the global land temperature.

Three independent long-term records of global average near-surface (land and ocean) annual temperature demonstrate that the 2004–13 period was 0.75°C to 0.81°C warmer than the pre-industrial average.

Figures suggest extremes of cold have become less frequent in Europe, while warm extremes are more frequent. Since 1880, the average length of summer heatwaves over western Europe has doubled and the frequency of “hot” days has almost tripled.

The goal of limiting global average temperature rise to less than 2°C above the pre-industrial levels is projected to be exceeded between 2042 and 2050 by the three of the four scenarios outlined recently in reports from the IPCC .

The 13 updated indicators from the agency also cover issues such as sea levels, snow cover, ice sheets, ocean acidification, storms and glaciers. The projection for the global sea level, for example, has been revised upwards, based on new climate models that better represent the effects of melting ice sheets.

Several indicators include projections of further snow and ice decline. The indicator on Arctic and Baltic sea ice shows that, in September 2013, ice cover was well below the average for 1981–2010, and predicts that, if greenhouse gases continue to be emitted at high levels, the Arctic Ocean will be nearly ice-free every September before 2050.

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