Belgium’s average temperatures hiked for second time in one decade
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Belgium’s average temperatures hiked for second time in one decade

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Belgium’s Royal Meteorological Institute (RMI) will adjust the country’s average temperature upwards in 2021, marking the second time in a decade that it is revised upwards.

The country’s average temperature will be bumped to 10.9ºC for the year 2021, an increase of 0.3ºC compared to this year when the RMI set the average temperature at 10.6ºC.

“It is now the second time that the tables have been adjusted in ten years,” Samuel Helsen, a climate expert and meteorologist at regional weather forecaster NoodweerBenelux, said.

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The revision means that Belgium’s average year-round temperatures have increased by more than 1ºC in the space of 12 years, up from 2009’s average temperatures of 9.8ºC.

Since 1800, average global temperatures have increased by 1ºC, with two-thirds of the warming occurring from the year 1975, according to NASA’s Earth Observatory, in findings which coincide with the first reports warning of the effects of climate change.

In the recent report, the Observatory also noted that, globally, warming was occurring at a rate of roughly 0.15 to 0.20ºC per decade.

In Belgium, which has been experiencing extreme heat waves in recent years and has been ravaged by three violent wind storms this year, Helsen said that it was “remarkable” to see that the average temperature was increasing for all months of the year.

The meteorologist also said that average temperature hikes would mean that, from next year, the country’s references for a “normal” climate would evolve.

“From 2021 onwards we will always refer to the statistics from the 1991-2020 period as those of our ‘normal’ climate,” he said on Twitter. “Until this year, that period was 1981-2010.”

“So the ‘normal’ is changing, but the consequences of climate disruption will remain noticeable! Records remain records…,” he wrote.

Gabriela Galindo
The Brussels Times