Posted: 12 Nov 2021 02:47 GMT
The continent is expected to see hotter summers, milder winters and more severe storms in the coming years.
Temperatures in Europe are already 2.2 ° C warmer than before the industrial revolution, Samantha Burgess, deputy director of the Climate Change Service for the European Copernicus Earth Observation program, said in a briefing at the Conference of the United Nations on Climate Change (COP26) held in Glasgow (Scotland, United Kingdom).
Scientists cannot determine the reason why the incidence is higher in the Old Continent, although proximity to the Arctic could be the reason. It is precisely this region that is warming much faster. “We know that the Arctic is warming about three times faster than the world average rate,” Burgess said in a statement to the Space.com portal, noting that that region “is already 3 ° C warmer than in pre-industrial times. “
According to Burgess, the rate of Arctic warming is facilitated by changes in the albedo of the planet, that is, the ability of the surface to reflect sunlight. The pristine white ice around the poles acts like a mirror, reflecting most of the incoming sunlight rather than absorbing it. When ice melts, lakes form, changing their albedo. Water absorbs more sunlight and gets hotter.
“We will see more extreme events”
The rapid warming of the Arctic also leads to an active permafrost thawing, the permanently frozen surface that houses the undecomposed remains of animals and plants from the past. With the melting of that layer, the decomposition of everything that is inside begins. Decomposing matter releases carbon dioxide and methane, powerful greenhouse gases that further accelerate warming.
The increase in temperatures is already causing unprecedented weather events on the continent, such as the floods that swept through several countries or the heat waves that affected other nations in the region last summer.
Burgess considers that Not everything is lost and that the future of Europe, as well as that of other continents, depends on the actions taken now to stop global warming. “Until 2030, we will see more events [meteorológicos] extremes, hotter summers, milder winters and more severe storms“, he warned.
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