Europe is experiencing a remarkable summer. A high-pressure anomaly over Scandinavia causes high temperatures and drought in the northern parts while southern Europe was unusually wet, with bad thunderstorms in France in the first half of June.
Meteorologists of the World Weather Attribution (WWA) have investigated the connection between the highest temperatures so far in Northern Europe and climate change. Aspects other than temperature are more difficult to analyze but may be considered in later studies. In addition, the scientists emphasize that the study is tentative, as August is yet to come. For their analyses, they have looked at observations of local weather stations in northern Europe from May 1 to July 24 and a five-day forecast from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) deterministic model.
The scientists found extreme heat near the Arctic circle and less extreme heat further south. The probability to have such a heatwave or an even higher one is generally more than two times higher today than if human activities had not altered climate. With global mean temperatures continuing to increase heat waves like this will become even less exceptional.
- Attribution of the 2018 heat in northern Europe,
World Weather Attribution July 2018.