2022 was the warmest summer ever recorded – glacier ice is melting at record speed
“The climate that awaits us will be very, very different from the climate in which we grew up,” said Copernicus Director Carlo Buontempo. The Climate Change Service’s new report documents global warming in record time, and ends on a bleak outlook.
In the European Alps, more glacier ice was lost last year than ever before. The glaciers of the Alps lost more than five cubic kilometers of ice, according to the EU climate change service Copernicus based in Reading. If you were to press this mass of ice into a cube, the edges of the cube would be around five and a half times as high as the Eiffel Tower.
The glacier ice is not the only record that the service found for 2022: Europe also experienced the warmest summer ever recorded. On average, it was 1.4 degrees above the reference period from 1991 to 2000. According to Copernicus, temperatures in Europe are rising around twice as fast as the global average.
“The climate that awaits us will be very, very different from the climate in which we grew up,” Copernicus director Carlo Buontempo told journalists. It is all the more important to collect data and knowledge about it (Click here for the report) and draw the right conclusions.
A third of Europe suffered from drought in 2022
The summer was marked by a severe drought that, according to Copernicus, affected more than a third of Europe and affected agriculture, transport and energy supplies. This was partly due to the fact that less snow fell than usual in the previous winter and enormous heat waves in summer exacerbated the situation.
In southern Europe, the number of days that are considered days with extreme heat stress that is considered dangerous to health also increased significantly – the Copernicus service measures these days in different temperature levels.
In addition, solar radiation in Europe was more intense than at any other time in the past 40 years. This led to an above-average potential for the production of solar power in many parts of the continent. Experts assume that this trend will continue.
In addition to greenhouse gases, methane is also a concern
The concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere did not decrease last year either – on the contrary. Both the concentration of carbon dioxide and that of the extremely potent greenhouse gas methane increased. “Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is imperative to prevent the worst impacts of climate change,” said Copernicus Vice Director Samantha Burgess.
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. Data on temperatures, sea ice cover and other aspects are published monthly using computer analysis.