European State of the ClimateWarming trend shows 11 of the 12 warmest years occurred since 2000, according to the Copernicus European State of the Climate reportEuropean State of the Climate.
A comprehensive annual climate overview has been released by the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) containing deep insight into the state of our climate in 2019 to help build up a much-needed long-term picture of how it is changing.
- 2019 was the warmest year on record for Europe
- 11 of the 12 warmest years occurred since 2000 in Europe
- Three periods of exceptionally warm weather occurred in February, June and July, leading to record-breaking high temperatures
- Long-term view shows clear warming trend across the last four decades
- One of the wettest Novembers on record brought precipitation of up to four times the normal amount in Western and Southern Europe
- European Arctic relatively colder than in recent years but summer heatwave causes record surface ice melting in Greenland
- Greenhouse gases continue to rise
Today the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), implemented by the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts on behalf of the European Commission, releases its latest, highly-detailed report, the European State of the Climate 2019, helping policymakers and planners to make decisions based on a clearer picture of the changing climate.
The report, which this year provides extra levels of detail on sources and timespan of the data sets, confirms that 2019 was the warmest year on record for Europe. Warm conditions and summer heatwaves contributed to drought in central Europe, while heavy rainfall events occurred in western and southern Europe towards the end of the year. Despite this, overall rainfall was close to average across the continent for the year as a whole.
Globally, climate indicators show that there the last five-year mean is 1.1°C above the pre-industrial era and across Europe almost a 2.0°C above the latter half of the 19th century. The aim of the 2015 Paris Agreement, ratified by 188 countries, is to keep the increase in global average temperature to well below 2.0°C above pre-industrial levels and make a concerted effort to limit the increase to 1.5°C.
This is why the annual European State of the Climate Report is an important benchmark for policymakers and industries across Europe to plan against the effects of climate change. Certain key climate indicators in the report show how the climate is changing at both European and global levels, giving an insight into its longer-term evolution. The freely accessible, high quality data offer in-depth knowledge that can be used by all kinds of sectors including agriculture, health, insurance, health, security, tourism and town and country planning.
Carlo Buontempo, Director of the Copernicus Climate change Service (C3S), comments: “It is now more vital than ever before that everyone has access to this information to help us understand the longer-term implications of climate change and what organisations and individuals can do to reduce its effects. One exceptional warm year does not constitute a warming trend, but to have detailed information from our operational service, that covers many different aspects of our climate, we are able to connect the dots to learn more about how it is changing.”
“This latest annual report is compiled by C3S from its free-to-use data, with contributions from a wide range of scientific partners and associates, including other Copernicus services. As part of this family, we are proud to put together useful climate information created from raw data which offers highly valuable insights to all sectors of society from policymakers and business leaders to scientists and individuals,” he adds.
2019 findings highlight continuing warming trend
The European State of the Climate 2019 affirms how temperatures in the whole of Europe continue to show a clear warming trend. Eleven of the 12 warmest years have occurred since 2000. The warmest year on record for Europe 2019 was closely followed by 2014, 2015 and 2018. Added to this, all seasons were warmer than average with summer being the fourth warmest since at least 1979. Some parts of Europe experienced summer temperatures as much as 3℃ to 4℃ higher than normal. Intense heatwaves in June and July also led to record-breaking temperatures in some European countries including France and Germany.
In addition, summer drought conditions affected vegetation cover in many parts of the continent, although parts of western Europe the vegetation cover returned to normal by autumn but were hit by heavy rainfall at the end of the year.
For the European Arctic, temperatures were below the highs seen in recent years. 2019 saw air temperature in this region over both sea and land at 0.9°C higher than average. Despite summer seeing temperatures close to the average, the short heatwave that hit continental Europe at the end of July, moved northwards causing all-time temperature records to be broken in northern Scandinavia and contributed to record surface ice melting in Greenland.
Greenhouse Gas concentrations increase
In 2019, concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) continued to increase, says the European State of the Climate 2019 report. Global net fluxes of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and nitrogen dioxide follow a continuing upward trend, a pattern which has established over recent decades. Scientists say it is only possible to find concentrations as high as they were in 2019 by going back millions of years in history.
Sunshine duration higher than since the 1980s
2019 saw the largest number of sunshine hours just above the previous record year 2015, with the data record starting in 1983, although there were some regional variations. This highlights a clear upward trend of sunshine hours over the last 40 years across the continent. This sunshine duration was seen across the whole year with below-average cloud cover seen for the first six months. Areas experiencing sunshine most above average were Spain, parts of France, central Europe and most of eastern Europe.
The European State of the Climate 2019, compiled by C3S from a range of data sources with contributions from key players in the field of climate science, offers a complete overview of annual and seasonal conditions across the whole of Europe and the European Arctic which are compared with the long-term average. This gives a clear picture for policymakers, planners, industry sectors, businesses and individuals to help put in place mitigation and adaptation measures against the effect of climate change.
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Additional resources for media here: https://climate.copernicus.eu/11-12-warmest-years-occurred-2000-according-copernicus-european-state-climate
About ECMWF and Copernicus
Copernicus is the European Union’s flagship Earth observation which operates through six thematic services: Atmosphere, Marine, Land, Climate Change, Security and Emergency. It delivers freely accessible operational data and services providing users with reliable and up-to-date information related to our planet and its environment. The Programme is coordinated and managed by the European Commission and implemented in partnership with the Member States, the European Space Agency (ESA), the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites (EUMETSAT), the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), EU Agencies and Mercator Océan, amongst others.
ECMWF operates two services from the EU’s Copernicus Earth observation programme: the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) and the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S). They also contribute to the Copernicus Emergency Management Service (CEMS). The European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) is an independent intergovernmental organisation supported by 34 states. It is both a research institute and a 24/7 operational service, producing and disseminating numerical weather predictions to its Member States. This data is fully available to the national meteorological services in the Member States. The supercomputer facility (and associated data archive) at ECMWF is one of the largest of its type in Europe and Member States can use 25% of its capacity for their own purposes.
The Copernicus Climate Change Service website can be found at https://climate.copernicus.eu/
The Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service website can be found at http://atmosphere.copernicus.eu/