The overheating doubles the global average and is fuelling exceptional heatwaves and droughts.
According to the annual report of the World Meteorological Organization and the European Copernicus network, the average temperature on the old continent is 2.3 degrees warmer than it was at the end of the 19th century.
Warming has soared since the 1990s, breaking temperature records on several occasions.
Warming has been uneven geographically, reaching around 2 degrees above average in much of Western Europe and even exceeding 3.5 degrees in regions close to the Arctic.
The summer of 2022 was the hottest on record in many European countries. According to the report, extreme weather-related events (storms, floods, fires, landslides, and heat waves) claimed more than 16,000 lives and directly affected 156,000 people.
Record sea temperatures
Sea surface temperatures around Europe also reached new highs, accompanied by marine heatwaves. Glacier melt was unprecedented.
However, the report says renewable energy generated more electricity than polluting fossil fuels for the first time last year – a sign of hope for the future.
Europe saw its highest temperatures on record. Many countries, including Belgium, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK had their warmest year on record.