European Climate: Why is Western Europe So Warm?

Sarhan Basem
credit: voanews

Brussels  (Brussels Morning Newspaper) – Western Europe is under a phase of a fierce heat wave. The temperatures in Western Europe often break new records and this leads to excess deaths. The Heat is expected to hit Western Europe and in the future then intense weather on the Iberian Peninsula is expected to rise even more. Hundreds have already died because of the blistering heat. Due to climate change, the locals of Western Europe are under threat. Why is Western Europe so warm? Read on to find an answer.

The Build Up Of CO2

The met office in Western Europe has set out a Red Warning for extreme heat as the temperatures are expected to soar even higher. Politicians want to avoid, a repetition of 2003 when a heatwave in Europe killed more than 70,000. So far, more than 1,000 people have died from the heat effects in Spain and Portugal.

The buildup of CO2 from burning fossil fuels has made the heat waves more intense. These fossil fuels have also resulted in frequent heat all over the globe. Climate change can drive heat waves in two ways. It can result in trapping more heat in the global system. A warmer atmosphere would mean that there would be more heat extremes.

The impact of the heat wave can be “dynamic”. It could mean that there could be a massive change in the weather patterns. These changes can bring heat and rain to regions that are normally not experienced in Western Europe. These kinds of heat waves can become more frequent in the decades ahead if the government doesn’t follow the route of cutting down emissions.

The Proximity Of Warm Mediterranean Sea 

The latitude and the proximity of the warm Mediterranean Sea is the reason behind the mild winters in Western Europe. In most countries of Europe, the average temperature of 47 °F (8 °C) in January means that there are only a few days of frost. People living in Western Europe have been seriously affected by the heat wave.

In France, temperatures push behind 40C. There are thousands of people in the southwest that have been evacuated after wildfires have burned more than 10,000 hectares. Parts of Germany have also seen a temperature rise. The temperatures in Germany hit 40C and as a result, the locals are suffering endlessly. According to experts, Germany might see a rise in the temperature in the coming years.

The cause of the temperature difference can be a strange interaction between the surface ocean and the Gulf Stream. Due to the proximity of the warm Mediterranean Sea near Western Europe, the countries located in the city are seeing a rise in the temperature. The atmospheric currents and differences in the pressure on the Western Atlantic have resulted in the mild winters.

Despite its northerly latitude, Germany has a temperate seasonal climate. It has been moderated by the North Atlantic Drift which has resulted in a relaxing environment for the population. The locals living in Germany and other countries in Western Europe are enjoying warm summers and relatively mild winters. The Mediterranean Sea is known for its heat waves. The countries that are close to the sea are bound to be influenced by the heat waves produced above the sea.  

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Is Western Europe a Special Case?

Although heat waves are affecting most parts of the world, there could be regional differences that could affect the climate in certain areas. Western Europe is one such region that has seen a lot of weather changes in the past. In the past few years, the countries located in Western Europe have seen a temperature rise. According to an expert, Western Europe seems to be a special case. He shared:

“Heat waves in Western Europe heat up faster than in some other regions,” he said. “Various factors can influence this: drying out of the soil, changes in the jet stream, [or] high-pressure areas that often remain in one place for a long time.” The high pressure in the air is affecting the climate badly. 

Research by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has shown that the temperatures are set to rise all across Western Europe. The changes in the heat wave are intense and they have been exceeding the average global temperature. According to experts more changes in the weather might affect the lifestyle of people living in the region. The frequency and intensity of hot extremes might increase in the coming future which could cause an alarming situation for the locals.

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Brussels Morning is a daily online newspaper based in Belgium. BM publishes unique and independent coverage on international and European affairs. With a Europe-wide perspective, BM covers policies and politics of the EU, significant Member State developments, and looks at the international agenda with a European perspective.
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Sarhan Basem is Brussels Morning's Senior Correspondent to the European Parliament. With a Bachelor's degree in English Literature, Sarhan brings a unique blend of linguistic finesse and analytical prowess to his reporting. Specializing in foreign affairs, human rights, civil liberties, and security issues, he delves deep into the intricacies of global politics to provide insightful commentary and in-depth coverage. Beyond the world of journalism, Sarhan is an avid traveler, exploring new cultures and cuisines, and enjoys unwinding with a good book or indulging in outdoor adventures whenever possible.