For the third year in a row, temperatures have been rising. This 2021, in Europe we have had the hottest summer ever since there are records, according to the Copernicus Climate Change Service, slightly exceeding the temperatures of the previous summers between June and August, which also marked very high temperatures.
According to Copernicus data, Europa had an average surface air temperature close to one degree Celsius above average from the years 1991-2020. A particularly hot summer hit by different heat waves and setting a new record in historical records, surpassing the summers of 2010 and 2018 by 0.1ºC, which also registered high temperatures.
This summer’s heat wave sets new all-time records
The August heat wave will be remembered. The Spanish State Meteorology Agency already considered that the wave from August 11 to 16 was the most intense of the entire series, stating that “this wave has been at the highest level of those registered in Spain since 1975 in terms of its intensity, and among the highest also in terms of extension.”
Now we have the data at the European level that confirm a fact that we have been observing for several summers: it is very hot. Since the 2000s and complying with what has already been warned about climate change, it is getting hotter and hotter.
In its statement, Copernicus explains that globally this August 2021 has been the third warmest ever recorded. In Europe, the month was close to average but with very extreme conditions, mainly in Mediterranean countries, warmer than average temperatures in the east and lower than average overall temperatures in the north. Combining the different situations, the European average for this summer is placed as the one with the highest temperature.
During the heat wave a temperature of 48.8º C was recorded in Sicily, Italy, on August 11. This temperature, verified by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), is the highest ever recorded in Europe.
A heat wave due to anticyclonic weather conditions that also particularly affected Spain, Greece and Turkey, with severe forest fires.
Image | Xavier Coiffic