Europe’s climate is warming twice as fast as the global average


Via Flickr

Grace Smith | November 4, 2022

Temperatures in Europe have increased more than twice the global average rate in the last 30 years, per a report by the World Meteorological Organization. From 1991 to 2021, Europe increased an average of 0.5 degrees Celsius every decade. Earth has warmed 0.18 degrees Celsius per decade since 1981. 

Europe’s summer months this year brought record-breaking high temperatures and hot days, reaching 0.4 degrees Celsius above last year. In addition, the results of continuous warming in Europe melted about 38 feet of the Alpine glaciers and continue melting Greenland’s ice sheets, raising the sea level. 

“Europe presents a live picture of a warming world and reminds us that even well-prepared societies are not safe from impacts of extreme weather events,” WMO secretary-general, Prof Petteri Taalas, said. “This year, like 2021, large parts of Europe have been affected by extensive heatwaves and drought, fueling wildfires. In 2021, exceptional floods caused death and devastation.”

Reasons why Europe is warming more than other areas of the world include high land mass in Europe, as well as the Arctic and high northern latitudes which are the fasted global warming regions. To decrease climate change effects, the European Union decreased greenhouse gas emissions by 31 percent since 1990 and aims to decrease them by 55 percent by 2030.

Europe Experiences Record Breaking Heat


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Josie Taylor | July 20, 2022

For the first time on record, Britain experienced temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius — 104 Fahrenheit — on Tuesday, as a heat wave moved northwest. This heat wave is leaving a trail of wildfires, lost lives and evacuated homes across Europe. The continent is extremely ill-equipped to deal with the extreme weather.

Britain is far from the only country suffering from the heat wave. France saw severe wildfires. 2,000 firefighters battled fires that have burned nearly 80 square miles of parched forest in the Gironde area of the country’s southwest.

Spain, Italy and Greece also endured major wildfires. In London, a series of grass fires erupted around the capital on Tuesday afternoon, burning several homes.

At least 34 places broke the old British record for heat on Tuesday, according to the Met Office, the national weather service, including at least six that reached 40 Celsius. Scotland broke its old record of 32.9, with temperatures of 34.8 in Charterhall. 

Network Rail, which operates the country’s rail system, issued a “do not travel” warning for trains that run through areas covered by a “red” warning issued by the Met Office. The red zone covered an area stretching from London north to Manchester and York. Several train companies canceled all services running north from the capital.

Forecasters across Europe are predicting the temperatures will cool down midweek. In Britain, some showers are expected, and temperatures are forecast to lower, staying below 80 Fahrenheit in most of the country on Wednesday.

Apples and Diphenylamine (DPA)


Photo by Brian Y.; Flickr.
Photo by Brian Y.; Flickr.

The Environmental Working Group recently blogged about apples and DPA, the pesticide applied to apples once they’re harvested to protect them during storage.

DPA is an antioxidant that slows the development of black patches on the skins of picked apples in storage.

This chemical has caused a debate in both the US and EU on whether or not DPA should continue to be used on our produce.

The EU recently restricted DPA to 0.1 part per million, because people would not be at risk with concentrations that low, but some apples, although not sprayed with DPA, can have trace amounts of the pesticide if stored in a warehouse that once used it.

Although the EPA must review pesticides every 15 years to make sure there is no harm to humans, they haven’t reviewed DPA in 16 years.

Purchasing organic apples, organic apple juice, or organic apple sauce, is an easy change to make to reduce the risk of ingesting potentially harmful chemicals.

To read the full story on apples and DPA, click here.