08 Nov 2022, 13:45
Benjamin Wehrmann

Severe heat spikes hit North Sea and Baltic Sea in summer 2022 – maritime agency

Clean Energy Wire

Temperatures in both the North Sea and the Baltic Sea rose by more than one degree Celsius during summer 2022,  which is above the long-term average maintained since 1997, Germany’s Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (BSH) said. Summer 2022 was one of the warmest ever throughout all of Europe since records began, the BSH said, which led to temperatures in parts of the North Sea to rise 1°C higher than average. Temperatures in large parts of the Baltic Sea were even 1.5°C higher than the average of the previous years. During several days of particularly strong heat waves last summer, temperatures in depths of up to three metres were 2°C higher in the North Sea and 3°C higher in the Baltic respectively, the BSH added. “Climate change is causing an energy surplus of which 90 percent is absorbed in the form of heat by the ocean,” the agency explained, adding that this both affects marine ecosystems and the role oceans play in global heating in general. “Temperatures in the northern Atlantic, for example, are influencing the course of winter in central Europe.” 

A particularly dry and hot summer in Europe has shifted the focus to the impacts of a changing climate throughout the region in 2022, with Germany's National Meteorological Service (DWD) warning that summers like this “will soon be typical.” The UN Emissions Gap Report released during the UN climate conference in Egypt (COP27) showed that the window of opportunity to act against severe temperature rises is closing, as many parts of the world are already experiencing the often devastating effects of global warming in the form heavier and more frequent storms, forest fires, floods and droughts. 

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