After Riga, Budapest is ranked second among the European capitals where the average temperature has increased the most in the last 50 years. It means a 4°C increase in the Hungarian capital.
The European Union’s Copernicus program examined a total of more than 100,000 settlements in Europe. Large cities received particular attention, analysing data in 35 countries and their capitals.
This has shown that Budapest is ranked second on the list of capitals where the average temperature has increased the most significantly since the 1960s
– said András Lukács, chairman of the Air Working Group, at InfoStart.
The most substantial increase was measured in Riga, the capital of Latvia. According to the data, the average temperature in Budapest increased by 4°C. He also reported that the National Meteorological Service has similar data, but shows a smaller increase – about 2°C.
The reason for the big difference is not known; however, Hungary is among the European countries where the greatest dangers of climate change can be expected. This was also stated in the National Climate Change Program, which was adopted unanimously by the Parliament.
According to the expert, the biggest problem is the summer heatwaves.
The number of summer heat days has increased with only minor fluctuations over the last few decades, but it has steadily increased indeed. And on these hot days, the number of illnesses and deaths rises.
A study was conducted to examine the extent and number of heat days between 2000 and 2010. They found that the number of deaths increased by 30% compared to the same period in previous years when there was no heatwave.
It has been also revealed that the largest temperature increase was experienced inside and around big cities.
According to András Lukács, this can be explained by the fact that these areas are paved, with plenty of cars. “If we look at the temperature of the soil where there are trees, we can see that it does not heat up above 25°C on summer heat days. On the other hand, asphalt can heat up to 60°C, whereas the hood of a car can heat up to 70°C. They work like a stove, heating the environment; as a result of which, the temperature in cities is much higher than in the rural areas.”
According to the expert, this phenomenon also explains what would be the solution in order to reduce the high temperature – decreased number of paved surfaces, and the expansion of natural soils, trees and green areas.