EUROPE – WORLD’S FASTEST WARMING CONTINENT
WHY IN NEWS ?
- According to report by the World Meteorological Organization and the Euro-pean Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service, found that europe is warming at very alarming rates.
FINDINGS OF THE STUDY :
- The continent, warming at twice the global average since the 1980s, saw its warmest summer last year.
- In Europe, the high temperatures “exacerbated the severe and widespread drought conditions, fuelled violent wildfires that resulted in the second largest burnt area on record, and led to thousands of heat-associated excess deaths.”
- Temperatures across the continent rose 1.5C in 30 years, from 1991 to 2021, according to the report, the State of the Cli- mate in Europe 2022.
- In the Alps, glaciers saw a new record mass loss for a single year in 2022, caused by very low winter levels of snow, a hot summer as well as deposits of wind-blown Saharan dust.
- Rainfall was below normal across much of the continent, hitting agricultural production and water reserves while creating the conditions for wildfires.
- The Spanish water reserve decreased to less than half of capacity by July as the Iberian Peninsula saw its fourth drier- than-average year in a row in 2022.
- The report noted that wind and solar power generated 22.3% of European Union electricity in 2022, overtaking fossil gas (20%) for the first time.
- Marine heat waves—which can displace or even kill species—also lasted for up to five months in several regions including the western Mediterranean Sea, English Channel and southern Arctic.
CONSEQUENCES OF WARMING UP:
- Crop-withering drought, record sea-surface temperatures and unprecedented glacier melt are among the consequences laid out in a report.
- Severe heat left more than 16,000 people dead last year.
- Floods and storms accounted for most of the $2 billion in damages from weather and climate extremes.
- The year saw the second largest burnt area ion record in Europe, with large fires scorching across parts of France, Spain, Portugal, Slovenia and the Czech Republic.
SYLLABUS: PRELIMS, ENVIRONMENT