The Paris Climate Agreement adopted by nearly 200 countries in 2015 aims to limit warming at a level not exceeding two degrees to the pre-industrial era. Moreover, it also provides for maximum efforts to achieve an even more significant objective: the limit should not exceed 1,5 degrees. For several cities in Europe the 1.5C threshold has already been reached.

A study of the European data-based journalism network (EDJNet) shows that in the Scandinavian and Baltic regions, large part of Andalusia and Southeast Romania, the average temperatures in the 21st century were higher with a few degrees than those in the 20th century. This in turn has led to changes in the life expectancy of European citizens, their health and well-being.

The project analysed historical temperature records for 558 European cities and the average temperature for the 20th century was compared with the data since 2000. The results show that in the 21st century, every larger city in Europe is warmer than it was in the 20th century. In some cities, the increase in average temperature is approximately three degrees.

The increase in temperature by 1.5 C is a global threshold and the areas warming more quickly are not outside this target; the scientists for decades know that the polar regions are warming more than the areas close to the equator.

The fastest “warming” city iн Europe is the Kiruna located in the north of Sweden. The average temperatures since the beginning of 21st century increased by 3.4 degrees compared to the average figures for the whole 20th century. The study also analyses historical meteorological records for 15 Bulgarian cities – Vidin, Pleven, Ruse, Shumen, Varna, Stara Zagora, Plovdiv, Sofia, Pazardzik and Blagoevgrad. In the first 11 cities, the warming from the beginning of the century is over 1 degree.

Rising temperatures are not just statistics because there is a real impact on health, economics, infrastructure and even education. Heat waves lead to an increase in mortality. The warmer time attracts mosquitos and other insects that can carry diseases. The increased number of warmer days leads to increase in infrastructure costs – from higher temperatures asphalt and rail are deformed.