Watch CBS News

This year's blistering summer in Europe was the hottest on record

Europe faces wildfires, drought, record heat
Europe faces wildfires and extreme drought amid record heat wave 02:23

Europe has been plagued for months by extreme heat, drought and wildfires, with many cities experiencing unprecedented temperatures and conditions. A new report from Copernicus, Europe's climate observation service, found that this summer was the hottest ever recorded

Recorded temperatures from June through August were 0.4 degrees Celsius warmer than 2021. August was particularly brutal, with average temperatures 0.8 degrees Celsius hotter than 2018, the service said, also the hottest on record. Eastern Europe suffered the worst, though southwest parts of the continent also had "well above average" temperatures. 

Much of the continent also saw significantly drier conditions than average, a situation that contributed to the raging wildfires that have burned thousands of acres in several countries. 

Freja Vamborg, senior scientist for the service, said that "an intense series of heatwaves" paired with the dry conditions created a "summer of extremes." This resulted in drought and fires "affecting society and nature in various ways," Vamborg said. 

Meanwhile, during the same period, Scandinavia, as well as portions of central and southeastern Europe, Greece and portions of Turkey, saw more rain than average, Copernicus reported.

The report comes just weeks after European officials said the drought is likely the worst the continent has seen in "at least 500 years" — a milestone they contributed to climate change. Officials made the devastating statement after the European Commission's Global Drought Observatory unveiled a report detailing how nearly half of the continent has been impacted by drought. 

Also in August, England experienced its driest July recorded in nearly 90 years, a situation that has taken a severe toll on the country's agriculture. That same month, Britain recorded its highest temperature ever at 104 degrees Fahrenheit, a threshold that many thought would take years to reach.  

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.