IRELAND’S winds were strangely calm last year as Europe endured a year of weather shocks and worrying climate trends.
he continent had its warmest summer on record, with an intense and prolonged heatwave in July and August affecting almost all areas including Ireland.
Record rainfall also occurred, causing severe and deadly flooding in parts of western Europe.
Large parts of Europe, including Ireland, have been shut down for very long periods and wind energy production has been severely affected.
Carbon emissions, meanwhile, continued to rise despite lower activity during the Covid restrictions.
The details can be found in the annual European State of the Climate Report by the EU climate service Copernicus.
Standout stats include the record-breaking temperature of 48.8 degrees recorded in Italy over the summer – an all-time high for Europe.
Overall, the summer was the warmest on record.
The Mediterranean region was hardest hit with an intense heat wave, drought, extreme heat stress and wildfires.
Ireland also had an official heatwave, declared after five straight days of temperatures hitting 25 degrees, but that was a far cry from Spain’s 47 degrees, a national record in that country.
The lowest or second-lowest wind speeds since 1979 were recorded in western Europe, but in contrast, parts of south-eastern Europe were much stronger than normal winds.
Heavy rains also hit many places, but the deluge that hit Belgium and western Germany in mid-July broke records and caused river levels to soar beyond previous readings.
Subsequent flooding caused billions of dollars in damage and killed or injured hundreds.
Extreme conditions have also been recorded in the seas around Europe.
Annual sea surface temperatures in parts of the Baltic Sea and Mediterranean Sea were the highest since 1993, and summer Baltic Sea waters were more than 5 degrees above average.
Arctic monitoring revealed the lowest sea ice in the Greenland Sea on record, while carbon emissions from fires in Siberia pushed Arctic carbon emissions to the fourth-highest on record.
Copernicus’ Carlo Buontempo said the extreme nature of the weather events showed the importance of close monitoring and measurement.
“Accurate climate information is more important than ever to help us make informed decisions,” he said.
https://www.independent.ie/news/environment/missing-winds-and-record-temperatures-in-year-of-weather-extremes-new-climate-report-reveals-41576632.html Lack of winds and record temperatures in year of extreme weather, new climate report reveals