Over the past seven decades, the number of extreme heat days in Europe has steadily increased, while the number of extreme cold days has decreased, according to new research. Alarmingly, this trend is happening at rates faster than those proposed by climate models.
For most Europeans, this new study will hardly come as a surprise. This summer, for example, temperatures in southern France reached a record 46 degrees Celsius (114.8 degrees Fahrenheit), with similar temperature extremes happening at other locations on the continent.
Indeed, Europe is getting progressively hotter, and the data bears this out. What’s disturbing, however, and as new research published today in Geophysical Research Letters points out, this warming trend is occurring faster than the projections churned out by most European climate models. And as the new paper also notes, the observed increases in temperatures “cannot be explained by internal variability.” In other words, this warming trend is the result of human-caused climate change. [Continue reading…]