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Not Africa, this continent is getting hotter than any other

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By Dewey Olson - - 5 Mins Read
Photo of highway flanked by large dry fields
Photo | LoggaWiggler/Pixabay

We've got some hot news, quite literally. You know how we're always hearing about the effects of climate change all over the world?

Well, it turns out that one continent is feeling the heat more intensely than any other – that's right, I'm talking about Europe. 

According to the big kahunas of climate monitoring, the UN's World Meteorological Organization, and the European Union's Copernicus agency, Europe is warming at a rate roughly twice the global average.

In their latest report, they sound the alarm bells about the consequences of this rapid temperature rise on human health, glacier melt, and economic activities across the continent.

Let's break it down, shall we? The report reveals that the average temperature in Europe is 2.3°C (4.1°F) above pre-industrial levels.

To put that into perspective, the global average is only 1.3°C higher. That's dangerously close to the 1.5°C limit set by the Paris Climate Agreement to keep global warming in check.

Also read: How Much Climate Change Would Cost the World by 2050

If you thought last summer was hot, brace yourself for more. The report paints a picture of Europe grappling with intensifying climate extremes, including record-breaking temperatures, wildfires, heat waves, glacier ice loss, and even a lack of snowfall in some regions.

It's like Mother Nature cranked up the thermostat and forgot to turn it down!


Celeste Saulo, the WMO's secretary-general had earlier sounded a red alert, predicting 2024 as a "record hot year."

“Never have we been so close – albeit on a temporary basis at the moment – to the 1.5° C lower limit of the Paris agreement on climate change,” Celeste Saulo had said.

The Human Cost of Heating Europe

But it's not just about sweating through your clothes; this heating trend has severe consequences for human health, too.

The report highlights a concerning rise in heat-related deaths across Europe. Additionally, extreme weather events like storms, floods, and wildfires claimed over 150 lives last year alone.

Amidst all this doom and gloom, there's a glimmer of hope. The report suggests that Europe has an opportunity to develop targeted strategies to accelerate the transition to renewable energy sources like wind, solar, and hydroelectric power.

In fact, Europe generated a whopping 43% of its electricity from renewables last year, up from 36% the previous year. That's a step in the right direction! 

However, these climate extremes come with a hefty price tag. The report estimates that weather- and climate-related economic losses in Europe amounted to a staggering €13.4 billion (approximately $14.3 billion) in 2023 alone.