Last decade was warmest on record in Europe
European temperatures in the last decade were 1.3 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial average — the warmest since records began — according to new research by the European Environment Agency (EEA), the EU’s climate advisory body.
Their report finds that since 2002, rainfall has decreased in southern Europe, while increasing in the north, and there have been more extreme weather events. Meanwhile, the Greenland ice sheet, Arctic sea ice and many European glaciers are melting.
"Climate change is a reality around the world, and the extent and speed of change is becoming ever more evident," said Jacqueline McGlade, the EEA's executive director.
The EEA's report, 'Climate change, impacts and vulnerability in Europe 2012', says that accelerating climate change impacts will vary across the continent, with the Mediterranean hit by heatwaves, while northern Europe suffers coastal and river floods.
Heatwaves have increased in frequency and length over the last decade causing tens of thousands of deaths, according to the report. Several major droughts have been recorded in recent decades.
At the same time, global sea levels have risen by 3mm a year in the last 20 years, up from 1.7mm during the 20th century, an increase that is transforming Europe's coastal regions.
Renvyle Castle, Ireland via Shutterstock.
Read more at EurActive.