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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 Jun 2010

Global and European temperature (CSI 012/CLIM 001/CLIM 003) - Assessment published Jun 2010

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Generic metadata

Topics:

Climate change Climate change (Primary topic)

Tags:
soer2010 | csi | climate change | climate | temperatures | understanding climate change | thematic assessments
DPSIR: State
Typology: Performance indicator (Type B - Does it matter?)
Indicator codes
  • CSI 012
  • CLIM 001
  • CLIM 003
Dynamic
Temporal coverage:
1850-2098
 
Contents
 

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

Observed European annual average temperature deviations, 1850-2009, relative to the 1850-1899 average (in ºC).

Note: The European mean annual temperature deviations are in the source in relation to the base period 1961-1990. The annual deviations shown in the chart have been adjusted to be relative to the period 1850-1899.

Data source:

 

 KNMI  (http://climexp.knmi.nl/), based on Climate Research Unit (CRU) gridded datasets HadCrut3 (land and ocean) and CruTemp3 (land only) from http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/

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European annual, winter (December, January, February) and summer (June, July, August) mean temperature deviations, 1860-2009 (ºC)

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

Data source:

 KNMI  (http://climexp.knmi.nl/), based on Climate Research Unit (CRU) gridded datasets HadCrut3 (land and ocean) and CruTemp3 (land only) from http://www.cru.uea.ac.uk/cru/data/temperature/

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Observed changes in warm spells indices 1976-2009 (in days per decade)

Note: Warm spell duration index is defined as a period of six consecutive days with the mean daily temperature exceeding 90th percentile of the baseline temperature (average daily temperature the 1961-1990 period).

Data source:

KNMI (http://eca.knmi.nl/ensembles); Haylock et al, 2008

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Observed changes in frost days indices 1976-2009 (in days per decade)

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

Data source:

KNMI (http://eca.knmi.nl/ensembles); Haylock et al, 2008

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Projected average number of summer days exceeding the apparent temperature

Note: The maps show the number of summer days in Europe exceeding the apparent temperature (heat index) threshold of 40.7 °C as simulated by five ENSEMBLES Regional Climate Models for the IPCC SRES A1B emission scenario. The apparent temperature (often referred to as the heat index) represents heat stress on the human body by accounting for temperature

Data source:

EU-FP6 project ENSEMBLES; (http://eca.knmi.nl/ensembles); Haylock et al, 2008 ;

(http://www.ensembles-eu.org/) van der Linden and Mitchell, 2009, Fischer and Schaer, 2010.

 

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Specific assessment

For Europe, temperature anomalies are shown for both 'land & ocean' and for 'land-only'. The first enables a comparison with the global average, the second shows temperature changes that the European citizens experience. All data are based on the datasets maintained by the Met Office Hadley Centre and Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia (HadCRUT3 for 'land & ocean' combined and CruTem3 for 'land only').

Annual and seasonal average in Europe

The average temperature has increased 1.3 0C and 1.1 0C for the European land area and European land & ocean area, respectively, comparing the trend towards 2009 with pre-industrial times (1850 - 1899)  (Fig. 3). Europe has thus warmed more than the global average (i.e. 0.74 - 0.84 0C compared to 1.1 0C). Considering the European land, nine of the 12 years between 1998 and 2009 were among the warmest years since 1850s in Europe with 2007 as warmest year (1.5 0C higher than 1850 - 1899 average temperature). The year 2009 ranked as the fifth warmest year on record with about 1.3 0C higher than pre - industrial.  Geographically, particularly significant warming has been observed in the past 50 years over the Iberian Peninsula, in central and north - eastern Europe and in mountainous regions (Haylock, 2008). In the past 30 years, warming was the strongest over Scandinavia, especially in winter, whereas the Iberian Peninsula warmed in summer.
On average, Europe warmed more in winter than in summer (Fig. 4).  The 2009 winter was relatively cold in most of Europe (e.g. temperatures dropped down to -40 0C in some locations in Scandinavia whereas in northern Italy experienced temperature of -17 0C) with also extensive snowfall in many places. The spring and summer season of 2009 was warmer than the long-term average, particularly over southern Europe. Spain had the third warmest summer after the very hot summers of 2003 and 2005. Autumn, in contrary, was cold again (WMO, 2010).
Similar to the global temperature the average temperature over Europe is also projected to continue increasing over the next century. According to the ENSEMBLES project (van der Linden, 2009) the annual average temperature will increase more than global temperature, considering the A1B emission scenario (which is one of the six IPCC SRES scenarios).
In addition most of the Regional Climate Models (RCMs) results show, that the warming is projected to be the greatest over north-eastern Europe and Scandinavia in winter (December to February), and in the Mediterranean in summer (June to August) (van der Linden, 2009;). Summer temperature are projected to increase by up to 7 0C in Southern Europe and 5 0C in the Northern Europe comparing the period 2080 - 2100 with the 1961 -  1990 average. (van der Linden, 2009).
These results have been obtained from 25 different Regional Climate Models (RCMs) performing at 25 km spatial resolution with boundary conditions from five Global Climate Models (GCMs), all using the IPCC SRES A1B emission scenario.

Temperature extremes in Europe

High - temperature extremes like summer days, tropical nights, and heat waves  have become more frequent, while low - temperature extremes (e.g. cold spells, frost days) have become less frequent in Europe (IPCC, 2007a, Fig. 5, Fig. 6).

The average length of summer heat waves over Western Europe doubled over the last 100 years and the frequency of hot days almost tripled (Della - Marta et al., 2007). In the period 1976 - 2009  increase of heat wave duration was observed in whole Europe (Fig. 5), however the trend is not significant at the majority of stations. In contrary, the significant decrease in number of frost days has been observed in most of the European area (Fig. 6).Extreme high temperature events across Europe, along with the overall warming, are projected to become more frequent, intense and longer this century (Tebaldi et al., 2006, IPCC,  2007a,b; Beniston et al., 2007; Haylock et al, 2008, van der Linden et al, 2009, Fig. 7). Geographically, the maximum temperature during summer is projected to increase far more in southern and central Europe than in northern Europe, whereas the largest reduction in the occurrence of cold extremes is projected for northern Europe (Kjellstroem et al., 2007; Beniston et al., 2007, Sillman and Roekner, 2008 Haylock et al, 2008, van der Linden, 2009). According to the ENSEMBLES RCM scenarios for 2071 - 2100 (van der Linden et al, 2009) the number of days with apparent temperature exceeding 40.7 0C (heat index) will double in most parts of southern Europe.

Specific policy question: Answer to unknown question

Observed global annual average temperature deviations in the period 1850–2009 (in ºC)

Note: The annual deviations shown in the chart have been adjusted to be relative to the period 1850-1899 (for Hadley Centre/CRU) and 1880-1899 (for NASA/GISS) to better monitor the EU objective not to exceed 2 ºC above pre-industrial values. Over Europe average annual temperatures during the real pre-industrial period (1750-1799) were very similar to those during 1850-1899.

Data source:

EEA, based on NASA's GISS mean land-ocean temperature anomalies and the Hadley Center's HadCRUT3 dataset

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Rate of change of global average temperature, 1850-2009 (in ºC per decade)

Note: Lines refer to the decadal rate of change of the global temperature anomalies. Sources of the data are NASA’s GISS mean land-ocean temperature anomalies and the Hadley Center’s HadCRUT3 dataset

Data source:

EEA, based on NASA's GISS mean land-ocean temperature anomalies and the Hadley Center's HadCRUT3 dataset

Downloads and more info

Specific assessment



In the statement on the status of the global climate (WMO, 2010), World Meteorological Organisation (WMO) has shown temperature anomalies from three datasets. For the indicator we have used two most independent datasets, maintained seperately by the Met Office Hadley Centre and Climatic Research Unit, University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom (HadCRUT3) and by the Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) operated by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in the United States (GISTEMP).

Global 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 global average temperature increase between 1850 and 2009 was 0.74 0C (Hadley Centre/CRU) and between 1880 and 2009 was 0.84 0C according to NASA/GISS dataset, compared to the 1850 - 1899 average temperature (Hadley Centre/CRU) or 1880-1899 (NASA/GISS). This is about one third of the EU 'sustainable' target of limiting global average warming to not more than 2 0C above the level in the pre-industrial period as defined for the purpose of this indicatorn (Figure 1). On the decadal scale, the 2000s decade (2000 - 2009) was warmer than the 1990s (1990 - 1999), which in turn was warmer than the 1980s (1980 - 1989) and earlier decades (WMO, 2010). 10 to 11, depending on which of the two data sets is used, out of the last 12 years (1998 - 2009) rank among the warmest years in the instrumental record, and 2005 and 1998 were the warmest two years than any other year (IPCC, 2007a, WMO, 2010).
The rate of change in the global average temperature is accelerating from 0.08 0C per decade over the last 100 years, to 0.13 0C per decade over the past 50 years up to 0.17 0C per decade over the last 10 years (all values represent land & ocean area) (IPCC, 2007a; WMO, 2010) (Fig. 2). Thus the rate comes close to the indicative limit of 0.2 0C per decade. 


The global average temperature is projected to continue to increase. Globally, the projected increase in this century is between 1.8 and 4.0 0C (best estimate), and is considered likely (66 % probability) to be between 1.1 and 6.4 0C for the six IPCC SRES scenarios and multiple climate models (IPCC, 2007a), comparing the 2080 - 2100 average with the 1961 - 1990 average. These scenarios assume that no additional policies to limit greenhouse gas emissions are implemented (IPCC, 2007). The range results from the uncertainties in future socio-economic development and in climate models. The EU and UNFCCC Copenhagen Accord target of limiting global average warming to not more than 2.0 0C above pre - industrial levels is projected to be exceeded between 2040 and 2060, for all six IPCC scenarios.

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)
Document Actions
European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Denmark
Phone: +45 3336 7100