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France

2011 hottest year in France for over a century

AFP/Romain Perroceau

This year was France’s hottest since the start of the 20th century. In further confirmation of global warming, average temperatures were 1.5°C warmer than the norm and rainfall was lower, leading to water shortage in the summer.

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The average national temperature in 2011 was 13.6°C, according to forecasters Météo France, 0.2°C warmer than the previous hottest year, 2003.

This year's spring was particularly warm with temperatures an average 4.0°C warmer than usual in April.

Autumn 2011 was also exceptionally mild. November was the second hottest since 1900, 3.0°C warmer than the 1971-2000 average.

Every month in 2011 was above this benchmark except for July, when temperatures were 1.3°C cooler than average.

There was 20 per cent less rainfall than usual, leading to farming being hit by drought in the summer months.

But in the south-east of France heavy rain in November put the region up to average levels.

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