Report: Climate Change Turning Europe Hotter, Quicker Than Any Other Continent

Apr 23, 2024

10 Hottest Global Years on Record

Rising temperatures are twice as high in Europe as the world on average. They're also rising faster than any other continent on Earth, says a report released Monday by climate experts. The joint report comes from  experts with the European Union (EU) and the United Nations (UN).

The rising heat is spawning extreme weather. Floods, wildfires, and heat waves are placing human lives more at risk. The UN World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the EU’s Copernicus climate tracking group said this in the yearly report.

The report tracked weather over the past five years. It showed that Europe's temps have averaged 2.3 degrees Celsius (°C) above pre-industrial levels. This is compared to the 1.3°C average for the planet. The world’s nations are striving to cap the average long-term global increase to 1.5°C.

For Europe, it was one more year of rising temps and climate extremes, said Elisabeth Hamdouc. Hamdouch is the Copernicus Deputy Head of Unit. The climate expert said climate extremes include “heat stress,” wildfires, and heat waves. That, and “glacier ice loss,” she said.

The report noted floods in Slovenia. These impacted 1.5 million people in 2023. It also cited wildfires in Greece. One was a 600-square-mile blaze. It was twice the size of Athens. Heat waves that helped shrink Alpine glaciers by 10% from the former year were cited, too. These, among others, cost Europe over $14 billion.

The report did have an upside. In 2023, for the second straight year, Europe produced more power from solar, wind, and other renewable forms of energy. This was in place of burning fossil fuels. The former group made up 43% of all power generated by Europe. Fossil fuels made up less than a third.

Reflect: If 2024 is even hotter than 2023, how do you think countries around the world will respond?

Which of the following details is in the article, but NOT the infographic? (Common Core RI.5.7; RI.6.7)
a. 2023 was the hottest year on record.
b. 2016 is the second-hottest year on record.
c. Nine of the 10 hottest years on record occurred in the last decade.
d. Europe’s temperatures have risen faster than the global average temperature.
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