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Climate Change Threatens Europe With New Weather Extremes

2021 was a year of extreme weather and natural disasters for the continent, from heat waves to flooding and droughts. 

Climate change produced another record-breaking year of extreme weather in Europe in 2021, triggering catastrophic flooding and the hottest summer on record, according to scientists at the Copernicus Climate Change Service.

Summer temperatures in Europe last year were one degree Celsius above the average of the previous 20 years, and the rainfall that battered Germany and Belgium broke records, the scientists said in their annual European State of the Climate report. Globally, the last seven years have been the warmest since records began in 1850, with 2021 ranking sixth. There were worrying findings in terms of greenhouse emissions, too: concentrations of carbon dioxide and particularly methane continued to rise in the atmosphere.