Europe swung from unusually cold temperatures in the spring to its hottest summer on record last year, smashing temperature and daily rain records, while Mediterranean wildfires burned through land around the size of Cyprus.
They are the main findings of the fifth European State of the Climate report, published Friday, which found the summer of 2021 was 1 degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) hotter than the 1991-2020 average.
The average air temperature in Europe has risen about 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, according to the report.
The continent set a provisional, blistering new heat record last summer of 48.8 degrees Celsius on the Italian island of Sicily. Previously, the hottest day recorded in Europe was 48 degrees Celsius (118 degrees Fahrenheit) in 1977 in Athens, Greece, according to the report by the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service.