The world is now 1.1 degrees warmer than before 1900 and that warming could rise sharply, according to the report published Monday by the UN climate panel IPCC.

It also pays a lot of attention to regional differences.

For example, the temperature rise in the Netherlands is almost twice as fast as the global average.

Will it stay that way?

And what can the rest of Europe expect for the future?

In short, it is getting warmer everywhere, but warming is happening much faster in some parts of the world.

In addition, precipitation patterns are changing: wet areas often become wetter and dry areas even drier.

The Netherlands is actually in between two fires, says KNMI climate researcher Rein Haarsma to NU.nl.

He is one of the authors of the chapter on regional differences in climate change.



"If you look at the real global hot spots of climate change, Europe has no fewer than two: the far north, part of the Arctic, and the Mediterranean region. Both areas are warming very strongly, well above the global average."



"But if we look at changes in precipitation, they are opposites: the north of Europe is becoming wetter, while the Mediterranean is drying out strongly. The Netherlands is somewhere in between: our winters are getting rainier, but the precipitation in our summers is becoming more erratic: periods of drought and extreme precipitation are increasing side by side."

See also: Downpours Limburg fit into pattern: summer precipitation more often in one fell swoop

Land temperatures are rising faster everywhere

What about the temperature then? Should the Netherlands also count on above-average warming in the coming centuries?



Temperature measurements can be a bit distorted, says Haarsma. The warming is not only in the Netherlands, but everywhere over land faster than over the oceans, and it will continue to do so. Because 70 percent of the earth's surface consists of ocean, this strongly reduces the average warming.



The air above the oceans has warmed by an average of 0.9 degrees, while land temperatures have risen by an average of 1.6 degrees. The Netherlands is still more than 25 percent above that.



"We are not sure whether the Netherlands will warm up faster than other areas above land in the future," says Haarsma. "Southern Europe and the far north will warm up strongly above average, but in Western Europe, for example, the amount of wind from the sea also plays a role. Since the 1980s, the warming has accelerated in our country by tackling sulfur pollution. temporary effect."



Haarsma calls it a misunderstanding that the difference between warming over land and sea will increase. And there is an important conclusion in that: if we write that the average temperature on earth can still become 5 degrees warmer, that means that the average above land can become 7 or 8 degrees warmer, also in the Netherlands.

See also: KNMI: 'Maybe open door, but chance of heat waves is increasing'

Heat waves in particular are increasing strongly worldwide

The effects of climate change are now being observed in all areas of the earth.

That is one of the main conclusions of the new climate report, says climate researcher Bart van den Hurk of Deltares.

He co-wrote the ATLAS chapter of the report, which includes an interactive global map of climate change.



Heat waves are increasing the most, but so are extreme precipitation and drought.

"At a good number of those extremes, human influence has also been demonstrated with new scientific methods. That focused research on individual weather situations is also a new line of evidence in the new IPCC report."

The observations also show that in practice the temperature of heat waves increases more than the average temperature increase, and also more strongly than predicted by climate models.

"Statistically, you always have a chance of extreme outliers. But some heat extremes go faster than expected, and we often have to rely on the small probabilities when explaining extreme weather."

See also: Canada's extreme heat exposes underestimated effect of climate change

Decreasing west wind still uncertain

A temperature record of 50 degrees in Canada this summer is typical, as is the extreme rainfall in the Chinese city of Zhengzhou, where the annual average of precipitation fell in one day and all Chinese rain records were broken.

At such extremes, it is ultimately a fluke where it strikes, but they may be related: ongoing research is now looking at whether weather systems throughout the northern hemisphere stay in one place for longer during the summer months due to a decrease in westerly winds.

There are signs that this pattern will become more frequent, especially over Europe in the summer, but no firm statements are made in the new IPCC report.

Interrelationship between weather extremes in the summer of 2021: with a weaker westerly wind, the 'jet stream' will swing more, so that hot, dry or wet weather stays in one place for longer.

It is one of the explanations for the observed increase in extreme weather, but the IPCC is still scrupulous about this complex subject.

Interrelationship between weather extremes in the summer of 2021: with a weaker westerly wind, the 'jet stream' will swing more, so that hot, dry or wet weather stays in one place for longer.

It is one of the explanations for the observed increase in extreme weather, but the IPCC is still scrupulous about this complex subject.

Photo: Bart-Jan Dekker, NU.nl

Stormy rainy winters without ice skating

In the winter months, westerly winds in the Netherlands increase.

That means extra soft air, more rain and a greater chance of storms.

The chance of ice skating is getting smaller and smaller.



On the basis of the new IPCC report, KNMI is working on a revision of the national climate scenarios, in which the consequences for the Netherlands are described in greater detail.

See also: In Achterhoek, drought can already be attributed to climate change

Keywords: