Geneva (dts news agency) – Large parts of the world have experienced one of the three warmest Julys on record. This was announced by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) on Tuesday.
Temperatures in much of Europe were almost 0.4 degrees Celsius above the 1991-2020 average, according to the UN weather agency, with southwest and western Europe being the most above-average regions due to an intense heatwave in mid-July. “And this despite the La Niña event, which is said to have a cooling influence,” said WMO spokeswoman Clare Nullis on the weather data. “We’ve seen that in a few places, but not globally,” she added. It was one of the three warmest Julys since records began, “slightly cooler than July 2019, warmer than 2016 – but the difference is too small to tell.”
Portugal, western France and Ireland broke record highs, while England hit 40 degrees Celsius for the first time. National all-time records for daily high temperatures were also broken in Wales and Scotland, according to the WMO. Spain also had its hottest month on record in July, with an average national temperature of 25.6 degrees Celsius – with a heatwave from July 8 to 26 that was the most intense and longest on record, it said. Citing data from the European Commission’s Copernicus Climate Change Service, the UN Weather Agency confirmed that Europe had its sixth-warmest July.
The heat spread further north and east, followed by very high temperatures in other countries including Germany and parts of Scandinavia, breaking local July and all-time records in several places in Sweden. The month also saw the lowest Antarctic sea ice on record, seven percent below the average. The glaciers have endured a “brutal, brutal summer,” according to the WMO spokeswoman. “We started with low snowpack on glaciers in the Alps reported by meteorological services and now there are visible heatwaves – bad news for glaciers in Europe. However, the picture for Greenland’s glaciers is more mixed as there was no relentless heat.”
Photo: World Meteorological Organization in Geneva, via dts news agency