Was 2003 Europe’s Hottest Year on Record?

A tweet published here on January 17, 2023 claims that 2003 was Europe’s hottest year on record.


2022 was the world’s fifth hottest year on record. It is also the year when oceans were the hottest. According to a Bloomberg report, 28 countries in Europe recorded their warmest year in 2022. Europe also experienced its hottest summer in 2022. Some of the 28 countries include Britain, Italy, Spain, Croatia and Scotland. The continent also experienced extreme heatwaves which caused more than 20,000 deaths according to The Guardian.


According to the European Union’s flagship Earth observation organization- Copernicus– 2020 was Europe’s warmest year on record.

“2020 was Europe’s warmest year recorded, and seasonally winter 2019/20 and autumn 2020 were also the warmest recorded. Winter 2020, meaning December 2019 to February 2020, exceeded the previous warmest of 2016 by almost 1.4°C, while autumn (September to November 2020) passed the old record set in 2006 by 0.4°C.”- Copernicus.

A screenshot from the Copernicus website, proving that Europe’s temperature in 2020 was at an all-time high.

Further backing this up are findings from the  National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) database. Piga Firimbi filtered the search engine for results of temperature anomalies from 2002 to 2022. Below is a graph of the results;

This further coincides with data from the European Environment Agency (EEA). See screengrab below;

Other credible publications also state that 2020, and not 2003 was Europe’s hottest year on record. Such include CNN and Reuters.


The claim that 2003 was Europe’s hottest year on record is FALSE.

This fact-check was produced by Africa Uncensored with support from Code for Africa’s PesaCheck, International Fact-Checking Network, and African Fact-Checking Alliance network.

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