Europe’s year of climate extremes – POLITICO


It was (yet another) bad climate year for our planet — and an even worse one for Europe, according to the EU’s climate change service.

Copernicus’ latest report, published Tuesday, paints a dire picture that is now all too familiar.

Last year was the fifth-warmest on record globally and the second-warmest for Europe, where temperatures have increased by more than twice the global average in the past 30 years.

The Continent also experienced its hottest-ever summer, marked by devastating heat waves and wildfires that destroyed over 800,000 hectares of land and caused a spike in carbon emissions.

Extended droughts hit crop yields, with little hope in sight for a quick recovery. Unusually warm winters might be good for consumer energy bills, but without enough snow to restore rivers’ water supply this winter, farmers fear that the effects of last year’s drought might extend well into 2023.

The combination of adverse weather conditions and the fallout of the war in Ukraine is creating the perfect storm for a global food crisis, with millions of people facing starvation. Prices of staple commodities like wheat and vegetable oils, which had already experienced volatility in previous years, spiked in the aftermath of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, though early signs suggest the crunch might be starting to ease.

Here’s Europe’s hot, long, dry 2022 — in eight charts and maps.


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