Glocal Climate Change


Global warming is not only about melting icebergs or expanding deserts. It is something which does happen in our backyard as well. Data and estimates on the mean temperatures at the local level indicate that climate change has been affecting almost every corner of Europe, as mean temperatures have increased by more than 2°C in half a century in multiple areas.

EDJNet’s analysis looks at temperature data for more than 100,000 European municipalities in 35 countries. Mean values of the 1960s were compared with those of 2009-18, in order to explore the scale of global warming in each local community. Data is drawn from Copernicus and from the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF).

Main findings:

  • Fifty years of data for more than 100,000 European municipalities confirm that the continent is heating up at every latitude. In a third of these municipalities the average temperature has risen by more than 2°C between the 1960s and the last decade, with a difference as high as 5°C in certain areas.
  • Two thirds of European NUTS3 regions have experienced temperature increases between 1.5 and 2.5°C.
  • Only 73 of the 102,445 territories have seen average temperatures fall, though only by a few tenths of a degree.
  • Among the municipalities where temperatures have risen the most, we often find the capitals or their suburbs, especially in central-eastern Europe. Areas situated close to large airports also top the list.

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The data unit

Ornaldo Gjergji (OBC Transeuropa, coordinator) is a European data journalist. He is specialised in philosophy and international relations: ethics, human rights and armed conflicts.

EDJNet members which took part in this investigation: