During the new year the presence of high winter temperatures, have broken records in some parts of Europe, which has led activists to demand faster action against climate change and has offered a short-term respite to governments fighting against high gas prices.
Temperature records have recently been broken in hundreds of places, from Switzerland to Poland to Hungary, which recorded its warmest Christmas Eve in Budapest and saw temperatures rise to 18.9 degrees Celsius on January 1.
In France, where the night of December 30-31 was the warmest on record, temperatures soared to nearly 25C in the southwest on New Year’s Day, while normally bustling European ski resorts were deserted. due to lack of snow.
The Tampa Herald reported that some trees were beginning to flower in private gardens, while the Swiss Bureau of Meteorology and Climatology issued a pollen warning for people allergic to early-flowering hazelnut plants.
At Bilbao airport the temperature reached 25.1ºC, in the Spanish Basque Country. People enjoyed the sun sitting in front of the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao or strolling along the Nervión river.
Some people opined, “Here it always rains a lot, it’s very cold, it’s January and it feels like summer.”
Researchers have yet to analyze the exact effects of climate change on today’s high temperatures, but the January heat wave is part of the long-term trend of rising temperatures due to man-made climate change.
According to scientists, it follows another year of extreme weather events that are directly linked to global warming, such as deadly heatwaves in Europe and India and floods in Pakistan.
Said Friederike Otto, a climatologist at Imperial College London, “Record warm temperatures in Europe over the New Year are more likely due to human-caused climate change, just as climate change is increasing the odds of heat waves with higher temperatures”.
Plants start growing earlier due to temperature spikes, making them more vulnerable to frost.
Unusually warm temperatures have brought short-term relief to European governments, which have struggled to secure tight gas supplies and contain price escalation after Russia slashed gas deliveries to Europe.
On Wednesday morning, the reference gas price for the immediate month was trading at 70.25 euros per megawatt hour, its lowest level since February 2022, before the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Published by The Tampa Herald, news and information agency.