European State of the Climate 2023

📐 Methodology

The Copernicus Climate Change Service and the World Meteorological Organization released a joint report entitled « European State of the Climate 2023 ». This report provides descriptions and analyses of climate conditions and variations from across Earth systems, key events and their impacts, and a discussion of climate policy and action with a focus on human health. The report relies on datasets provided by the Copernicus Service, and the collection of data is undertaken by institutions across Europe and globally. It provides a basis for decision-makers at all levels to understand the evolving climate, in order to understand long term trends.

🔎 Key Takeaways

Since the 1980s, Europe has been warming twice as fast as the global average, becoming the fastest warming continent on Earth. The year 2023 was the joint warmest or second warmest year on record, depending on the dataset. Generally, the frequency and severity of extreme events are increasing. Below, the main messages of the report are outlined:

  • The average sea surface temperature for the ocean across Europe was the highest on record.
  • There has been an increase in the melting of glaciers, particularly in the alps, and changes in the pattern of precipitations.
  • The increase in extreme rainfall is leading to catastrophic events, such as widespread flooding across Europe.
  • Southern Europe is experiencing widespread droughts.
  • The adverse health impacts related to extreme weathaer and climate events are rising

The year 2023 saw a record proportion of actual electricity generation by renewables in Europe at 43%, providing a positive outlook for the future.