April 18. 2024. 1:05

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Europe experienced second-warmest winter on record, EU scientists say


Europe is emerging from its second-warmest winter on record, European Union scientists said on Wednesday (8 March), as climate change continues to intensify.

The average temperature in Europe from December to February was 1.4 degrees Celsius above the 1991-2020 average for the Boreal winter season, according to data published by the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S).

That ranks as Europe’s joint-second warmest winter on record, exceeded only by the winter of 2019-2020.

Europe experienced a severe winter heatwave in late December and early January, when record-high winter temperatures hit countries from France to Hungary, forcing ski resorts to close because of lack of snow.

The European Commission said on 2 January that hundreds of temperature records had been broken across the continent, including the Swiss town of Altdorf reaching 19.2C, smashing a record standing since 1864.

C3S said temperatures were particularly high in eastern Europe and the north of Nordic countries. While overall temperatures in Europe were above the norm, some regions were below-average, including parts of Russia and Greenland.