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European countries record hottest-ever September

7.6% of travellers see extreme weather events as a major concern for trips between June and November.—Reuters

European countries, including Austria, France, Germany, Poland, and Switzerland, have experienced record-breaking temperatures in September, adding to the growing list of extreme weather events fueled by climate change. 

This alarming trend comes in a year that experts predict will be the warmest in human history as the impacts of climate change continue to accelerate.

Austria, France, Germany, Poland, and Switzerland have all reported their hottest September on record. These unseasonably warm conditions in Europe follow a report from the EU climate monitor earlier in the month, which stated that global temperatures during the Northern Hemisphere summer were the highest ever recorded.

In France, the average September temperature is expected to be around 21.5 degrees Celsius (70.7 degrees Fahrenheit), which is 3.5 to 3.6 degrees Celsius higher than the reference period from 1991 to 2020. This pattern of temperatures exceeding monthly norms has been consistent in France for nearly two years.

Germany also experienced its hottest September on record, with temperatures almost 4 degrees Celsius higher than the 1961-1990 baseline, according to the German weather office DWD.

Poland’s weather institute reported September temperatures that were 3.6 degrees Celsius higher than the average, marking the hottest September since records began over a century ago.

The Alpine nations of Austria and Switzerland also recorded their highest-ever average September temperatures, a concerning development following a recent study that revealed Swiss glaciers had lost 10 per cent of their volume in just two years due to extreme warming.

Furthermore, Spain and Portugal’s national weather institutes issued warnings of abnormally warm temperatures expected to hit the region, with parts of southern Spain experiencing temperatures exceeding 35 degrees Celsius.

Scientists attribute these rising temperatures to climate change driven by human activity, with global temperatures now approximately 1.2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. The El Niño weather phenomenon, which warms waters in the southern Pacific and beyond, is expected to contribute to further temperature increases.

The consequences of these disruptions to the planet’s climate systems include more frequent and intense extreme weather events like heatwaves, droughts, wildfires, and storms, leading to greater loss of life and property.

World leaders will convene in Dubai starting on November 30 for crucial UN talks aimed at mitigating the worst effects of climate change, including the goal of limiting warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius as outlined in the 2015 Paris Agreement. Key discussions will revolve around reducing greenhouse gas emissions, transitioning away from polluting fossil fuels, climate finance, and expanding renewable energy capacity.

Francois Gemenne, lead author of a UN climate report, emphasised that until carbon neutrality is achieved, heat records will continue to be broken with increasing frequency, underscoring the urgency of addressing climate change on a global scale.

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