All European seas have warmed considerably since 1870, particularly since the late 1970s. During the period for which comprehensive data are available (1981-2018), sea surface temperature increased by between 0.2 °C, in the North Atlantic, and 0.5 °C, in the Black Sea, per decade. This increase is projected to continue, although more slowly than that of air temperature over land. The frequency and magnitude of marine heatwaves has also increased significantly globally and in European seas and is projected to continue, with increasing impacts on ecosystems and climate expected.

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