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Alps lost more glacier ice in 2022 than ever before: EU climate change service

More glacier ice melted in the Alps last year than ever before, the EU climate change service Copernicus said on Thursday.

The glaciers of the Alps have lost more than 5 cubic kilometers (1.2 cubic miles) of ice, the service's European State of the Climate Report 2022 (ESOTC 2022) said, adding that the summer was the warmest ever recorded last year.

Summer temperatures averaged 1.4 degrees above the reference period of 1991 to 2000. According to Copernicus, temperatures in Europe are rising at about twice the global average.

"The climate that awaits us will be very, very different from the climate we grew up in," Copernicus Director Carlo Buontempo said.

The summer of 2022 was marked by an enormous drought that affected more than a third of Europe, according to Copernicus, affecting agriculture, transportation, and energy supplies.

This was partly because less snow fell than usual in the previous winter and enormous heat waves in the summer exacerbated the situation.

In southern Europe, there was also a significant increase in the number of days considered to be days of extreme heat stress.

In addition, solar radiation in Europe was more intense than at any other time in the past 40 years. This resulted in the above-average potential for solar power production in many parts of the continent. Experts expect this trend to continue.


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