Europe is experiencing a unique fall season this year. Reuters reported this week that the continent has warmed more than twice as much as the rest of the world over the past 30 years. It is registering the highest temperature increase of any continent, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

“Europe presents a live picture of a warming world and reminds us that even well-prepared societies are not safe from impacts of extreme weather events,” WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas said in a statement.

According to WMO, from 1991 to 2021, temperatures over Europe warmed at an average of .5 degrees Celsius per decade, while the global average was just .2 degrees C.

Global Warming

Last year, extreme weather events made worse by climate change–chiefly floods and storms–delivered damages exceeding $50 billion in Europe.

This summer, a record-breaking heatwave swept Europe. In many countries, epic droughts caused severe wildfires across the continent. Some scientists say these are the consequences of climate change.

Heatwave Hotspot

Some scientists have called Europe a “heatwave hotspot” as the number of heatwaves on the continent has increased faster than in other regions due to changes in atmospheric circulation.

They say that Europe’s fast-paced warming may have something to do with its proximity to the Arctic, which is by far the world’s fastest-warming region.

Jet Stream

In an interview with NBC News, scientist Christopher O’Reilly said that the unseasonable warmth is due to a kink in the jet stream, a ribbon of fast-moving air that flows west to east over the Northern Hemisphere and controls weather systems.

Hey says the resulting trough over the eastern part of the North Atlantic Ocean allowed southwesterly winds to move warmer-than-usual air over Europe.

O’Reilly added that climate change is amplifying the consequences of jet stream anomalies.

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