Temperatures are rising worldwide. In addition, July was significantly drier than average in many parts of Europe. The result was drought.
Reading – Last July, with its extreme heat waves, was one of the three warmest on record in the world. The month was only slightly cooler than July 2019 and marginally warmer than July 2016, the EU climate change service Copernicus announced on Monday.
The average temperature worldwide was almost 0.4 degrees above the period 1991 to 2020, which the service uses as a reference period. Also, July was significantly drier than average across much of Europe, leading to droughts in the south-west and south-east. It was also drier than usual in South America, Central Asia and Australia.
“Heat waves pose a serious health risk and at the same time can increase the intensity and longevity of many other catastrophic climate events – such as wildfires and droughts,” said lead Copernicus researcher Freja Vamborg, according to a statement. These would entail enormous risks and damage for agriculture, logistics and energy production.
The long heat wave, which first caused temperatures of more than 40 degrees in Portugal and Spain, but then also in France and Great Britain, led to a number of new record temperatures in many places. According to the Copernicus service, southwestern Europe experienced its warmest July since records began in terms of maximum temperatures.
The extent of sea ice in Antarctica was seven percent below average in July – the lowest level since records began 44 years ago.
The Copernicus records go back to 1979. The climate change service also uses data from ground stations, balloons, airplanes and satellites going back to 1950. dpa