The United Nations has said, the temperatures in Europe have increased at more than twice the global average over the past three decades. It is the fastest rise of temperature on any continent.
The UN’s World Meteorological Organization and the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service said in a joint report that the European region has on average seen temperatures rise of 0.5 degrees Celsius each decade since 1991.
As a result, Alpine glaciers lost ice thickness by 30 meters between 1997 and 2021. It says, the Greenland ice sheet is swiftly melting and contributing to accelerating sea level rise.
Last year, Greenland experienced melting and the first-ever recorded rainfall at its highest point. The report cautions that regardless of future levels of global warming, temperatures are likely to continue to rise across Europe at a rate exceeding global mean temperature changes.
The new report, released ahead of the UN’s 27th conference on Climate Change, COP27 set to open in Egypt on Sunday, examined the situation in Europe up to 2021.
The report says, last year, high-impact weather and climate events — mainly floods and storms — led to hundreds of deaths. It directly affected more than half a million people and caused economic damage across Europe exceeding 50 billion dollars.
However, the report also highlighted some positives, including the success of many European countries in slashing greenhouse gas emissions.