2022 hottest summer on record in Europe

Europe experienced its hottest summer on record and second warmest year ever recorded in 2022, according to analysis by the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service.

Releasing its annual European State of the Climate (ESOTC) report, detailing the significant climate events of 2022 in Europe and across the globe, the data-driven insights show rising temperatures and intensifying extreme events.

Noting that much of Europe suffered intense and prolonged heatwaves, the report notes that Southern Europe experienced the highest number of days with “very strong heat stress” on record, with low rainfall and high temperatures leading to widespread drought and carbon emissions from summer wildfires the highest in 15 years, with some countries seeing the highest emissions in 20 years.

The Arctic experienced its sixth warmest year on record, with the Svalbard region seeing its warmest summer on record – the average summer temperature in some areas reached more than 2.5°C above average. Greenland also experienced record-breaking ice sheet melt during exceptional heatwaves in September

Key findings for renewable energy resources are that Europe received its highest amount of surface solar radiation in 40 years, resulting in above average potential solar photovoltaic power generation across most of Europe

Potential power generation from onshore wind was below-average in most of Europe, especially in southern central regions.

According to the report, globally, the last eight years have been the warmest on record. In 2022, the global annual average concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane (CH4) reached their highest levels ever measured by satellite. Europe experienced its hottest summer on record, compounded by several extreme events including intense heatwaves, drought conditions and extensive wildfires, according to data from the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S). Temperatures across Europe are rising at twice the global average rate; faster than any other continent

Mauro Facchini, head of Earth Observation at the Directorate General for Defence Industry and Space, European Commission, commented: “The IPCC’s latest synthesis report warns that we are running out of time, and that global warming has resulted in more frequent and more intense extreme weather events, as is the case for Europe. Only accurate information and data on the current state of the climate can help us achieve the goals we have set, and the European State of the Climate report is an essential tool to support the European Union with its climate adaptation agenda and commitment to reach climate neutrality by 2050.” 

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