As a result of anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases, the climate across the continent has also become drier, especially in southern Europe, which has increased the risk of fires.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), warming over land is occurring much faster than over the oceans.
The global greenhouse gas emission budget needed to prevent 1.5 degrees of warming on land has already been spent.
Now scientists from Stockholm University (Sweden) have calculated that the emission budget to prevent warming by two degrees over most of Europe during the summer half of the year has also been spent.
According to the authors, in the south of Europe, warming is further enhanced due to the fact that the climate is becoming drier, and evaporation is reduced.
What we are seeing now in Southern Europe is in line with the IPCC prediction that increased human impact on the greenhouse effect will cause arid regions on Earth to become even drier.
The burning of fossils provokes the release of both aerosol particles and greenhouse gases. Although their source is common, the impact on climate is different. Therefore, scientists have also investigated the effects of aerosol particles.
Greenhouse gases effectively absorb infrared radiation, which leads to warming, in particular in the lower atmosphere.
In addition, greenhouse gases linger in the atmosphere for a long time, so they are evenly distributed throughout the planet.
In contrast, aerosol particles scatter some of the sunlight back into space, causing a cooling effect. However, their lifespan is only about a week, so they cool the climate locally in the short term.
The researchers say that the rapid warming in Central and Eastern Europe is primarily a consequence of long-lived greenhouse gas emissions, but the reduction in particulate emissions over the past four decades has also contributed to this.
The cumulative effect resulted in an extreme rise in temperature of more than two degrees.
Aerosol particles have long masked the warming in many regions caused by greenhouse gas emissions, as they cooled the climate for a short time and locally by an average of just over a degree.
As the concentration of aerosols in the atmosphere decreased, the temperature rose more rapidly.
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