Ireland's winds were strangely calm last year as Europe experienced a year of weather shocks and worrying climate trends.
The continent had its warmest summer on record, with an intense and prolonged heatwave in July and August affecting almost all areas, including Ireland.
Record rainfall also occurred, causing severe and lethal flooding in parts of western Europe.
Large swathes of Europe, including Ireland, were becalmed for very long periods and wind energy production was badly affected.
Carbon emissions meanwhile continued to rise despite lower levels of activity during Covid restrictions.
The details are in the annual European State of the Climate Report from the EU’s Copernicus climate service.
Among the stand-out statistics is the record-breaking 48.8C recorded in Italy during the summer – an all-time high for Europe.
Overall, the summer was the warmest on record.
The Mediterranean region was worst affected, with an intense heatwave, drought, extreme heat stress and wildfires.
Ireland too had an official heatwave, declared after five consecutive days of temperatures reaching 25C, but that was a long way off the 47C experienced in Spain – a national record in that country.
The lowest, or second-lowest wind speeds since 1979, were recorded in western Europe. However, in contrast, parts of south-eastern Europe saw much higher than normal winds.
Heavy rain also hit many places but the deluge that struck Belgium and western Germany in mid-July broke records and sent river levels soaring beyond previous measurements. Billions of euro in damage was caused by the subsequent floods and hundreds were killed or injured.
Extreme conditions were also recorded in the seas surrounding Europe.
Annual sea surface temperatures in parts of the Baltic and Mediterranean were the highest since 1993 and summer Baltic waters were more than 5C above average.
Monitoring of the Arctic found the lowest sea ice in the Greenland Sea on record while carbon emissions from fires in Siberia raised carbon emissions in the Arctic to the fourth highest since records began.
Carlo Buontempo of Copernicus said the extreme nature of the weather events showed the importance of accurate monitoring and measuring.
“Accurate climate information is more important than ever before to help us make informed decisions,” he said.
The report, published yearly by the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S), draws on satellite observations, on-site measurements, and computer models to provide an update on the state of the continent’s climate.
“We are facing a lot of challenges,” said Mauro Facchini, head of the Copernicus Unit at the EU.
He said the record 2021 temperatures and extreme weather outlined an urgent need for countries to slash their greenhouse gas emissions to avoid further heating that would unleash more destructive weather events.
Globally, the last seven years have been the warmest on record.
Last year, however, was slightly cooler compared to recent years as temperatures were tempered by a La Nina weather pattern which cools sea temperatures in the north of the globe.
Though countries pledged under the 2015 Paris Agreement to limit global temperature rise to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels, most have failed to make sufficient progress and last year global CO2 emissions rebounded strongly following a temporary Covid-19 pandemic-induced dip.