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Heatwaves paired with dry conditions resulted in Europe's hottest summer on record

This summer has been the hottest in European history, data from EU satellite monitoring shows.  Pictured is the dried up bed of the drought affected River Doubs in Arcon, France

This summer has been the hottest in European history, data from EU satellite monitoring shows.

A series of extreme heat waves and a prolonged drought caused June, July and August to exceed previous highs by 0.4°C (0.7°F).

The Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) said temperatures on the continent were the “highest on record for both the month of August and for the summer (June-August) overall”.

Data showed August was the hottest on record in Europe, by a “significant margin” beating the previous record of August 2018 by 0.8°C (1.4°F).

According to experts, August was the third warmest on record worldwide.

This summer has been the hottest in European history, data from EU satellite monitoring shows.  Pictured is the dried up bed of the drought affected River Doubs in Arcon, France

This summer has been the hottest in European history, data from EU satellite monitoring shows. Pictured is the dried up bed of the drought affected River Doubs in Arcon, France

Flames are sweeping through dry forests in the Gironde region of southern France, where a record-breaking summer of heat waves and drought has turned pine forests into firewood

Bone dry: Almost half the EU country has been warned of drought or worse due to a combination of heatwaves and a

Bone dry: Almost half the EU country has been warned of drought or worse due to a combination of heatwaves and a “widespread and prolonged” lack of rain, experts warn. A map (pictured) shows the most vulnerable countries. Areas in orange are under “alert” conditions, while 15 percent of the country has moved to the most severe “alert” state (shown in red).

“An intense series of heat waves across Europe, coupled with unusually dry conditions, has resulted in a summer of extremes with record temperatures, drought and fire activity across many parts of Europe, impacting society and nature in various ways,” said senior C3S scientist Freja Vamborg.

“The data shows that we not only had record temperatures in August for Europe, but also for the summer, with the previous summer record only being a year old.”

Globally, August 2022 was the warmest August on record.

The average temperature was 0.3 °C (0.5 °F) above the monthly average from 1991 to 2020, the monitor said.

The UK recorded its highest temperature on record on July 19 when mercury reached 104.5°F (40.3°C) in Coningsby, Lincolnshire. This was a big jump over the previous record of 38.7C set in 2019.

Similar extremes have been seen in other European countries, including 64 different areas of France that have seen record highs.

Temperatures in Portugal reached 116.6°F (47°C) in July as Europe experienced its worst drought conditions in 500 years.

The parched greens and fairways at Ashton Court Golf Course near Bristol, where prolonged drought has caused the parched land to turn from green to brown

The parched greens and fairways at Ashton Court Golf Course near Bristol, where prolonged drought has caused the parched land to turn from green to brown

Sunflowers suffer from water shortages in oppressive temperatures in France

Sunflowers suffer from water shortages in oppressive temperatures in France

This year’s European summer is believed to be the driest since a mega-drought that hit the continent in 1540.

Much of the continent faced weeks of extremely hot temperatures this summer, worsening droughts, causing wildfires, sparking health warnings and prompting calls for more action to tackle climate change.

Summer crops have suffered, with 2022 grain corn yields expected to be 16 percent below the previous five-year average and soybean and sunflower yields expected to fall 15 percent and 12 percent, respectively.

Hydroelectric power generation has been impacted, with further impacts on other power generators due to water shortages to feed cooling systems.

Low water levels have hampered inland navigation, for example along the Rhine, as shiploads affect coal and oil transport.

The scale of the devastating wildfires across Europe this summer was such that it has resulted in the highest emissions since 2007, a new report says.

The Rhine is shown at low water.  The low water levels are threatening Germany's industry, as more and more ships are unable to pass through the important waterway

The Rhine is shown at low water. The low water levels are threatening Germany’s industry, as more and more ships are unable to pass through the important waterway

WHAT IS THE EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY’S SENTINEL 3 SATELLITE AND WHAT DOES IT DO?

Sentinel 3 is primarily an ocean study mission developed by the European Space Agency (ESA) as part of its Copernicus programme. But it is also able to provide data about the atmosphere and landmasses.

Sentinel 3A was launched on February 16, 2016, with a twin, Sentinel 3B, arriving in orbit on April 25, ESA’s seventh Sentinel Earth observation satellite.

The two satellites orbit 506 miles (815 km) above Earth, on opposite sides of the planet.

The multi-billion dollar Copernicus program aims to help predict weather phenomena like El Nino and track the progress of global warming.

Sentinel 3 (pictured in the video footage) is primarily an ocean study mission developed by the European Space Agency as part of its Copernicus program.  But it is also able to provide data about the atmosphere and landmasses

Sentinel 3 (pictured in the video footage) is primarily an ocean study mission developed by the European Space Agency as part of its Copernicus program. But it is also able to provide data about the atmosphere and landmasses

Their data could also help shipping companies plan more efficient routes and could be used to monitor wildfires, water pollution and oil spills.

The Copernicus project is described by ESA as the most ambitious Earth observation program to date. The European Union and ESA have pledged more than eight billion euros (£7.12bn / $9.8bn) in funding until 2020.

The start of the Copernicus project became particularly urgent after Europe lost contact with its Earth observation satellite Envisat in 2012 after 10 years.

Sentinel-3 uses multiple sensory instruments to achieve its objectives. These are: the Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer (SLSTR), Ocean and Land Color Instrument (OLCI), SAR Altimeter (SRAL), doppler orbitography and radiopositioning integrated by satellite (DORIS) and a Microwave Radiometer (MWR).

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