Climate change effects visible in Netherlands for 9th straight winter
This past winter was warmer than average for the ninth time in a row, Weer.nl reports. The meteorological winter ended on Monday with an average temperature in De Bilt of 5.8 degrees Celsius, compared to 3.9 degrees normally. This made it the sixth warmest winter since temperature measurements began. Due to climate change, extremely cold winters are becoming impossible, according to the weather service.
In the 1970s, the average winter temperature was 2.1 degrees. Then eight winters in the row were warmer. This was followed by the extremely cold winter of 1979. The new IPCC climate report shows that the winters in our country are becoming wetter and warmer, which was also visible this past winter. Within a few decades, there will be no more cold winters. Only short-lasting cold periods with snow and ice, such as in February 2021, will then be possible.
One warm period does not necessarily indicate climate change. Over a more extended period, however, it can be seen that the Netherlands is getting warmer. Meteorological institute KNMI has calculated the average temperatures over 30 years. Between 1961 and 1990, the average temperature was about 9.4 degrees. Over the past 30 years, this average has risen by 1.1 degrees Celsius to 10.5 degrees on average.
On Monday afternoon, the UN climate panel IPCC released a new report showing that climate change is already leading to "widespread disturbances in nature." Vulnerable people and ecosystems are hit the hardest. In northern Europe, the panel sees particular problems arising for coastal countries like the Netherlands. The risks of flooding are increasing.
According to Weer.nl, climate change does not mean cold winners will never occur again. For example, from 2009 to 2011, there were cold winters but no extremely cold winters.
Reporting by ANP.