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Europe Has Warmest Winter 'by Far' on Record

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An aircraft flies over the skyline of Munich against the backdrop of the Alps on March 2, 2020 in Bavaria. Peter Kneffel / picture alliance via Getty Images

By Elliot Douglas

Europe has just experienced "by far" its warmest winter since records began, the European Union climate change observer Copernicus announced on Wednesday.


The average temperature in Europe between December 2019 and February 2020 was 3.4 degrees Celsius warmer than the average temperature between 1981 and 2010, according to the report from the Copernicus Climate Change Service.

The average temperature was also 1.4 degrees Celsius above the warmest winter ever, which was 2015/16.

The temperature in the north and east of the continent was especially high. Despite some extreme storms, Germany was among the countries that experienced an especially warm winter.

There are concerns around agriculture across Europe. This was the first winter ever that Germany was unable to produce any "ice wine," a local delicacy made from grapes harvested when they are frozen.

Temperatures Rise Around the Globe

"Considerably above-average temperatures were not confined to Europe, but extended over most of Russia," the climate service wrote on their website.

"Other regions that were quite substantially warmer than average include north-western Africa, Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia, and much of China, with smaller pockets in North and South America, central and southern Africa and Western Australia," they explained.

Global warming was not the only culprit, Copernicus director Carlo Buontempo said, explaining that winter temperatures vary significantly from year to year.

"But it is likely that this type of events were made more extreme by the global warming trend," he said.

The EU's official weather service uses information from satellites, ships, planes and weather stations to determine its findings.

Reposted with permission from DW.

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