Europe swelters in second hottest July yet recorded

Second lowest Arctic sea ice extent for July

Last month was the second hottest July on record and the third warmest globally, a division of the EU’s Earth observation programme said.

Global temperatures in July 2021 were less than 0.1°C colder than the corresponding months in 2019 and 2016.

Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) said heatwaves had happened from the Baltic to the eastern Mediterranean. It also reported that western North America had experienced “anomalously high temperatures”, while areas of the Far East were also well above average.

The C3S also reported that July showed the second lowest Arctic sea ice extent since satellite records began, tying with 2012 and 2019, but a slight improvement from 2020.

“Antarctic sea ice extent was above average overall, ranking sixth highest for July in the satellite record,” C3S said.

“Europe saw much above average precipitation in the western parts of central Europe. The eastern part of the continent saw predominantly dry conditions. Dry conditions continued to affect parts of the US, also extending across much of southern Canada, providing environmental conditions favourable for widespread wildfires,” it said.

The effects of climate change on Europe have arguably never been clearer than in the past month, with a devastating mix of weather systems wreaking havoc in many parts of the continent.

Flash floods in Western Europe killed at least 228, including 184 in Germany and 41 Belgium.

The heavy rain also hit the UK, Austria, Croatia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Switzerland and Italy.

Meanwhile, fires continue to burn in the eastern Mediterranean – particularly in Greece and Turkey. The fires are being blamed on record temperatures caused by a brutal heatwave.

Updated: August 5th 2021, 1:51 PM