October Was the Hottest on Record for Europe

Last month was the warmest October for Europe on record, with Arctic sea ice retreating as northern regions in particular felt the effects of rising air temperatures.

Europe was 1.6 degrees Celsius (2.9 degrees Fahrenheit) above its 30-year historical average, according to the Copernicus Climate Change Service. Global temperatures 0.62 degrees Celsius higher than average made last month the world’s third-warmest October on record, extending a multi-year warming trend. 

“This October did not bring a surprising record, but an expected one,” Copernicus said in a statement. Records should be expected to fall more frequently as a result of global warming, according to the EU-backed scientific group.

Parts of northern and eastern Europe, Siberia, Alaska, and the Tibetan Plateau saw particularly abnormal warmth, while heatwaves continued to be felt in parts of South America and Africa, according to the scientists. Many Americans didn’t feel the heat as temperatures remained lower than average in central parts of the U.S. and southern Canada.

October was also the fourth-consecutive month with ice-free or almost ice-free conditions along the Northern Sea Route, the shipping corridor along Russia’s northern coast. In May, a cargo ship took the earliest trip on what’s usually an ice-blocked route.

The Copernicus report follows Wednesday’s formal U.S. exit from the Paris climate agreement, the commitment seeking to keep global temperatures from rising more than 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. Joe Biden has promised to rejoin the accords if elected president of the world’s second-largest emitter of greenhouse gases.

©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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