Temperatures in many European countries have reached all-time highs in January. National records have fallen in eight countries, while regional records have fallen in three more. National records were set for temperature in the Netherlands, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Latvia, the Czech Republic, Poland, Belarus, and Denmark. Belarus’ record high temperature was 16.4C, which is almost 4.5C over the previous record, and Warsaw, Poland, reported a temperature on January 1 that was 4C higher than the previous record for the month. In Spain, Bilbao’s temperatures on January 1 were comparable to the national average for July, and water use is restricted in some areas of Catalonia, including Barcelona. Temperatures reached 20C in Switzerland, and the warm weather has caused a snow deficit at ski slopes all over the Alps. However, not all of Europe is experiencing warm weather. Parts of Scandinavia are predicted to have cooler temperatures and snow, and Moscow is predicted to experience a weekend low of -20C. Only a few days before, 2022 was dubbed the hottest year on record by the UK, Ireland, France, and Spain.

As a result of human-induced climate change, heatwaves are becoming more common, more intense, and last longer. However, compared to summer heatwaves, which can cause a significant number of additional deaths, heated winter occurrences like these do not have the same detrimental consequences on people. Since the start of the industrial age, the world has already warmed by around 1.1C, and temperatures will continue to rise unless governments drastically reduce emissions.