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You are here: Home / Data and maps / Indicators / Global and European temperature / Global and European temperature (CSI 012/CLIM 001/CLIM 003) - Assessment published Apr 2008

Global and European temperature (CSI 012/CLIM 001/CLIM 003) - Assessment published Apr 2008

Topics: ,

Generic metadata

Topics:

Climate change Climate change (Primary topic)

Tags:
climate | csi | belgrade | climate change | emissions | heat waves
DPSIR: State
Typology: Performance indicator (Type B - Does it matter?)
Indicator codes
  • CSI 012
  • CLIM 001
  • CLIM 003
Dynamic
Temporal coverage:
1850-2007
 
Contents
 

Specific policy question: What is the trend and rate of change in the European annual and seasonal temperature?

European annual average temperature deviations, 1850-2007, relative to the 1850-1899 average (in oC).The lines refer to 10-year moving average, the bars to the annual 'land only' European average.

Note: The source of the original data is the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia

Data source:

EEA, based on CRU HadCRU3 and CRUTEM3 datasets.

Downloads and more info

Annual, winter (December, January, February) and summer (June, July, August) mean temperature deviations in Europe, 1860-2007 (ºC)

Note: The lines refer to 10-year moving average European land

Data source:

EEA, based on CRU HadCRU3 and CRUTEM3 datasets.

Downloads and more info

Changes in duration of warm spells in summer across Europe, in the period 1976-2006 (in days per decade)

Note: Warm spell is defined as a period of at least six consecutive days where the mean daily temperature exceeds the baseline temperature (average daily temperature the 1961-1990 period) by 5 oC

Data source:

http://eca.knmi.nl/ and Klein Tank et al., 2007

Downloads and more info

Occurrence of heat wave events with a duration of 7 days (left: 1961-1990 average; right: 2071-2100 average)

Note: N/A

Data source:

Indicator elaboration: R. Hiederer, European Commission DG Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability, 2007. Data: PRUDENCE Project 12km HIRHAM4, Danish Climate Centre, 2006.

Downloads and more info

Change in frequency of frost days in Europe, in the period 1976-2006 (in days per decade)

Note: Frost day is defined as a day with an average temperature below 0oC

Data source:

Klein Tank et al., 2007 (http://eca.knmi.nl/)

Downloads and more info

Specific assessment

The average temperature has increased 1.17oC and 0.93oC for the European land area and European land & ocean area*, respectively, comparing the trend towards 2006 with pre-industrial times** (CRU, 2006) (Fig. 3). As such Europe has warmed more than the global average (i.e. 0.95oC and 0.76oC for land and land & ocean). The warmest year in European land has been 2000 (1.18oC higher than pre-industrial), closely followed by 2006 and 2002. The warming is greatest over in South-Western, central and north-eastern Europe and in mountainous regions. Seasonal, temperatures are increasing more in winter than summer (Jones & Moberg, 2003; Fig. 4).
The annual average temperature for Europe is projected to increase 1- 5.5oC (comparing 2080-2100 with 1961-1990 average), taking into account the uncertainties in two future socio-economic development (IPCC-SRES A2 & B2 scenarios) and in climate models (IPCC, 2007b; Christensen & Christensen, 2007). The warming is projected to be greatest over eastern Europe and Scandinavia in winter (December to February), and over south-western and Mediterranean Europe in summer (June to August) (Giorgi et al., 2004; Christensen & Christensen, 2007). Especially South-Western Europe may experience a considerable warming in summer, exceeding 6oC in parts of France and the Iberian Peninsula (IPCC, 2007a,b).
Cold days, cold nights and frost have become less frequent in Europe (Fig. 7), while hot days, hot nights, and heat waves have become more frequent (Fig. 5) (IPCC 2007b). Especially the number of warm extremes has increased twice as fast over the last 25 years. It is more likely than not that anthropogenic forcing has caused this increase.
Along with the overall warming, heat waves and droughts across Europe are projected to increase in frequency, intensity and duration (Schär et al., 2004, Tebaldi et al., 2006, IPCC,  2007a,b; Beniston et al., 2007) (Fig. 6). Likewise, the night time temperature is projected to considerably increase, possibly leading to additional health problems (Halsnćs et al, 2007). Conversely, along with the projected increase for yearly minimum temperature for most of Europe, also winter temperature variability and the number of cold and frost extremes is very likely to further decrease (defined as lowest temperature occurring 1-in-10 years during 1961-1990) (Tebaldi et al., 2006, Beniston et al., 2007) (Fig. 7). Geographically, Central Europe could experience the same number of hot days by 2100 as currently observed in southern Europe and that Mediterranean droughts would start earlier in the year and last longer (Beniston et al., 2007). European regions projected to be most affected are the Iberian Peninsula, central Europe including the Alps, the eastern Adriatic seaboard, and southern Greece (Beniston et al, 2007; Kjellström et al., 2007).

* For the purpose of this indicator, Europe is defined as the land between 35o to 70o Northern latitude, -25o to 30o Eastern longitude, plus Turkey (=35o to 40o North, 30o to 45o East).
** For the purpose of this indicator, pre-industrial is defined as the period 1850-1899 (beginning of instrumental temperature records). At that time the anthropogenic influence was small compared to natural variation, temperatures in the late 19th century are in good agreement (order of 0.1o C) with conditions before the onset of industrialization in 1750.

Specific policy question: Answer to unknown question

Global annual average temperature deviations, 1850-2007, compared with the 1850-1899 average. The lines refer to 10-year moving average, the bars to the annual 'land and ocean' global average.

Note: The source of the original data is the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia

Data source:

EEA, based on CRU HadCRU3 and CRUTEM3 datasets

Downloads and more info

Rate of change of global average temperature, 1850-2007 (in oC per decade)

Note: N/A

Data source:

EEA, based on CRU HadCRU3 and CRUTEM3 datasets

Downloads and more info

Specific assessment

The Earth has experienced considerable temperature increases in the last 100 years, especially in the most recent decades. These changes are unusual in terms of both magnitude and rate of change. The temperature increase up to 2006 was about 0.76oC (land & ocean) compared to pre-industrial (defined as 1850-1899 average), about 1/3 of the EU 'sustainable' target of limiting global average warming to not more than 2oC above pre-industrial levels (Fig. 1). The 1990s were the warmest decade on record, eleven of the last 12 years (1995 -2006) rank among the 12 warmest years in the instrumental record (since 1850), and 2005 and 1998 were the warmest two years than any other year on record (Jones and Moberg, 2003, CRU, 2006; GISS/NASA, 2006). Note that 1998 experienced a strong El Nino, a warm water event in the eastern Pacific Ocean that adds warmth to global temperatures. In 2005 was about equally warm as 1998 without an El Nino event.
The rate of change in the global average temperature is accelerating from 0.08oC per decade over the last 100 years, to 0.13oC per decade over the past 50 years up to 0.23oC per decade over the last 10 years (all values represent land & ocean area) (IPCC, 2007a) (Fig. 2). As such the indicative target of 0.2oC per decade has been exceeded in the recent years.
The global average temperature is projected to increase 1.8 to 4.0oC (likely range 1.1-6.4oC) (from 1990) for the six IPCC SRES scenarios, comparing the 2080-2100 average with the 1980-1999 average. The range is caused by the uncertainties in future socio-economic development and in climate models. Note that these projections do not assume more policy action taken to limit greenhouse gas emissions (IPCC 2007a). Furthermore, these projections, based on the recent IPCC Fourth Assessment Report, are more advanced -as they provide best estimates and an assessed likelihood range for each of the marker scenarios- and now rely on a larger number of climate models of increasing complexity and realism, as well as new information regarding the nature of feedbacks from the carbon cycle and constraints on climate response from observations.

Data sources

More information about this indicator

See this indicator specification for more details.

Dates

Frequency of updates

Updates are scheduled every 1 year in April-June (Q2)
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