2014 one of the warmest Czech years on record

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The Czech Hydrometeorological Institute – the body responsible for monitoring the country’s weather – has reported that 2014 will be one of the warmest years since records began back in 1775. It also predicts that overall warming in the country and extreme weather events will continue to grow more common.

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The data from the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute underscores a disquieting trend. Ten of the twelve months of 2014 are expected to record above-average temperatures. Meanwhile, the overall average temperature in the country for these first ten months of 2014 is estimated to be 10.5 degrees Celsius, up from 7.8 degrees in 2013, and one of the highest numbers yet recorded.

The oldest Czech meteorological station, Prague’s Klementinum, has been monitoring temperatures since 1775. In recent times, both summer and winter high temperatures have broken records. Most recently, Klementinum recorded summer-like nighttime temperatures of 13 degrees Celsius on December 19, breaking a previous high for the same day set back in 1987. The same site saw a 100-year-old record broken on June 08, when temperatures of 32.2 degrees Celsius were recorded. Similar records have been falling across the country.

Photo: Filip Jandourek,  ČRo
Petr Dvořák is a spokesperson for the Czech Hydrometeorological Institute. I asked him to sum up the findings and implications of the latest data.

“Usually over the last 30 years, the temperature average on the territory of the Czech Republic is about 8.5 degrees Celsius. Very probably, the year 2014 will reach 9.8 degrees [for the full 12 months]. This will very probably be one of the warmest years in the history of measurement. Climatologists are observing growing extremes of weather too – temperatures, rainfall and so on – and believe this probably is a result of growing global temperatures.”

I pressed Dvořák to explain what he meant by “growing global temperatures” and asked for the Institute’s prognoses for the coming decades:

Photo: Archive of Radio Prague
“Very probably this is as a result of global warming, or global climate change. We can observe this across the whole Earth. And especially in Central Europe and the Czech Republic, we can expect that temperatures will continue to grow over the next ten, twenty and thirty years.”

November 2014 saw the publication of the fifth Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, which concluded with 95 percent certainty that human beings were the main reason for global warming over the last 60 years. Czech climatologist Radim Tolasz represented the country at the IPCC proceedings, and argued that despite some observable periods of cooling or temperature stagnation since 1850, the overall trend of warming was now irrefutable.