190726 sweltering europe
Tourists walk in the shade towards the Colosseum in Rome. The climate monitor said a warm spell “brought record daily temperatures to western Europe, and a record-warm October for Austria, Switzerland and France”. Image Credit: AP

PARIS: October temperatures in Europe were the warmest on record, the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) said Tuesday, hitting nearly 2 degrees Celsius above the 1991-2020 reference period.

“The severe consequences of climate change are very visible today and we need ambitious climate action at COP27 to ensure emissions reduction to stabilise temperatures close to the Paris Agreement target of 1.5 degrees,” said C3S deputy director Samantha Burgess, referring to UN climate talks currently taking place in Sharm el-Sheikh.

The climate monitor said a warm spell “brought record daily temperatures to western Europe, and a record-warm October for Austria, Switzerland and France”.

Large parts of Italy and Spain also saw records shattered last month.

“Canada experienced record warmth, and much warmer-than-average conditions also occurred in Greenland and Siberia,” C3S said.

It noted that colder-than-average temperatures were seen in Australia, far eastern Russia, and in parts of west Antarctica.

The news comes as world leaders gather for high-stakes climate talks in Egypt, facing calls to urgently slash emissions to avert further climate calamity.

UN chief Antonio Guterres warned that nations must cooperate or face “collective suicide” in the fight against climate change.

“Humanity has a choice: cooperate or perish,” Guterres told the UN COP27 summit.

Weather averages scrambled

C3S also said in its release Tuesday that October 2022 saw drier than average conditions over most of southern Europe and the Caucasus.

“It was also drier than average in most of central North America, over the Horn of Africa, in large parts of Russia, central Asia and China, and in regions of South America,” it said.

Meanwhile, in parts of the Iberian Peninsula, regions of France and Germany, the UK and Ireland, northwest Scandinavia, a large region of Eastern Europe and central Turkey the weather was “wetter than average”.

Outside Europe, wetter-than-average conditions were recorded in parts of North America, southern central Asia, and in Australia, heavy rainfall led to severe flooding in some areas.

The UN’s World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) said Sunday that each of the last eight years, if projections for 2022 hold, will be hotter than any year prior to 2015, as it outlined a dramatic increase in the rate of global warming.

It added that sea level rise, glacier melt, torrential rains, heat waves have all accelerated due to global warming.

Earth has warmed more than 1.1 degrees Celsius since the late 19th century, with roughly half of that increase occurring in the past 30 years.

This year is on track to be the fifth or sixth warmest ever recorded despite the impact since 2020 of La Nina - a periodic and naturally occurring phenomenon in the Pacific that cools the atmosphere.