This past summer was marked by some devastating heat waves in Europe. Through November, the UK, Germany, and France have experienced their hottest year on record.
The UK has experienced its warmest year since 1884 and, in fact, all the top ten warmest years on record have occurred since 2002.
In France, the average temperature for the year is a few tenths of a degree higher than the previous record, which was set in 2020.
In Germany, the first 11 months of the year saw a record for average temperature. Its previous record was also set in 2020.
All three countries saw a spike in heat-related mortality as result of the summer heatwaves. England and Wales reported 3,271 excess deaths during the summer. France reported 2,816 excess deaths during its three heat waves. In Germany, an estimated 4,500 people died as a result of extreme heat.
There are multiple effects of climate change which include more frequent heat waves in Europe. A recent study showed that European summers are warming twice as fast as the global average. In fact, summer temperatures across much of the European continent have already risen by 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit or 2 degrees Celsius, which is the feared level of global climate increase that nations around the world are trying to stave off.
Worldwide, 2022 will rank among the top ten warmest years on record but will most likely not be the warmest. That being said, the past eight years are on track to be the eight warmest years on record. The US will also see one of its ten warmest years, although not the warmest.
UK, Germany, France on Pace for Their Hottest Year on Record
Photo, posted April 23, 2022, courtesy of Jose A. via Flickr.
Earth Wise is a production of WAMC Northeast Public Radio