There is an increasing probability that Europe will experience a significantly warmer winter than usual, potentially reducing the demand for heating fuels.
(Bloomberg) — There is an increasing probability that Europe will experience a significantly warmer winter than usual, potentially reducing the demand for heating fuels.
Data generated by the Copernicus Climate Change Service signals a minimum 50% probability that all of Europe will experience well-above average temperatures between December and February. Countries across the European Union and beyond have a 60% to 70% chance of exceeding median historical temperatures experienced over the last three decades.
On Tuesday, scientists at Copernicus updated their seasonal outlook, used by farmers, insurers and utilities to help adapt to a warming planet. Abnormally high temperatures could depress natural gas prices heading into winter, providing some economic relief to Europeans. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine pushed prices to record highs last year, contributing to a cost-of-living crisis that lingers across the continent.
The forecast follows a warning by the International Energy Agency that frigid weather threatens to trigger price swings in a tight gas market. Europe’s storage sites are nearly full — well ahead of schedule — but “this is no guarantee of stable prices throughout the season,” the agency said in a market report Tuesday. “The risk of price volatility, particularly in the event of a cold winter, is cause for concern.”
The Copernicus program uses billions of measurements from satellites, ships, aircraft and weather stations around the world for its monthly and seasonal forecasts. Along with the European Space Agency, Copernicus plays a central role in the European Union’s €16 billion ($17.5 billion) effort to get ahead of climate change through accurate forecasting. It’s already the world’s biggest provider of climate data.
Data also suggest that much of northern, central and southern Europe has a 40% to 50% chance of significantly higher precipitation between December and February.
In the US, the northeast and west coast will probably also experience significantly higher temperatures than normal. Florida and southeast states have a 60% to 70% chance of well-above average precipitation between December and February.
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