Climate emergencies killed estimated 16,000 Europeans last year, WMO

Baku, June 23, AZERTAC

Climate emergencies killed an estimated 16,365 people across Europe last year according to an alarming new report released in Ireland on Monday, the World Meteorological Organization reports.
The figures were unveiled as experts from around the world gathered at Dublin Castle for the sixth European Climate Change Adaptation Conference. The World Meteorological Organization and European Union Copernicus Climate Change Service’s Climate in Europe 2022 report was released as the three-day conference kicked off. It found Europe’s average temperature was a Paris Agreement-busting 2.3 degrees above pre-industrial levels, when countries agreed to try and stay below 1.5 degrees higher than the 1850-1900 baseline. Several countries, including Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland and the United Kingdom had their warmest year on record. But 2022’s record breaking heat waves, and the resulting droughts and wildfires, will not be a “one-off” as our continent is warming at twice the global average.
Glaciers across Europe have lost about 880km3 of ice from 1997-2022 with the Alps experiencing a record loss last year. Some 5 362 ± 527 Gt of ice has melted in Greenland between 1972 and 2021, contributing about 14.9 mm to global mean sea-level rise. Average sea temperatures in the North Atlantic were also the warmest on record, while the UK and Belgium had their driest summer since 1976, impacting agriculture and energy production.
Precipitation was also below average across much of Europe in 2022, with water levels dropping so low in the Rhine many vessels couldn’t sail it at full capacity. WMO Secretary-General Prof Petteri Taalas said: “In 2022, many countries in western and south-western Europe had their warmest year on record. “Summer was the hottest ever recorded: the high temperatures exacerbated the severe and widespread drought conditions, fuelled violent wildfires that resulted in the second largest burnt area on record, and led to thousands of heat-associated excess deaths.”
Despite the report’s alarming findings, the WMO-EU said there were also some signs of hope as renewables generated more electricity than polluting fossil fuels for the first time last year.
Some 22.3% of EU electricity came from wind and solar, overtaking fossil fuel (20%). Prof Taalas added: “Increasing use of renewables and low-carbon energy sources is crucial to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
“Climate services play a key role in ensuring the resilience of energy systems to climate-related shocks, in planning operations, and in informing measures to increase energy efficiency.”
WMO and Copernicus says they are ready to work closely with Members to accelerate the energy transition in Europe to meet the goal of 42.5% renewable energy by 2030.

Environment 2023-06-23 17:24:00