2022 was hottest year on record in France and Monaco

Extreme heat, historic drought, major forest fires and ocean heat waves in the Mediterranean were seen 2022, a year that broke all heat records and signals the “new normal” of the future.

According to Météo France, the country’s official weather agency, 2022 has broken all records since measurements began in 1900, well ahead that of 2020, which until now was the hottest year ever recorded.

Figures show clearly that the planet is warming, with eight of the top 10 hottest years since the beginning of the 20th century occurring after 2010.

Massive rain shortfalls

There was, on average, 15-20% less rainfall in France in 2022, while the year was marked by record months: May saw 60% less rainfall and July 85%, making them the driest months ever recorded since measurements began in 1959.

Drought was therefore one of the longest and most extensive ever seen in history, lasting for eight months from the start of March.

A year punctuated by extremes

The year 2022 was also marked by numerous heatwaves and unusually mild temperatures. Meanwhile, cold spells were virtually non-existent, with the exception of a late frost episode in early April. According to Météo France, all the months of the year were warmer than normal, with the exception of January and April.

Three heat waves affected France last summer, the first in June when many heat records were broken. For example, the weather agency recorded the earliest 40°C ever in Saint-Jean-de-Minervois (34) on 16th June. Never before has such heat been observed so early in the season in mainland France.

Over the whole summer, the second hottest in France, a record number of 33 days of heat waves were recorded. The summer of 1983 held the previous record with 23 days, ahead of 22 days in 2003.

These extraordinary heats were accompanied by often unprecedented climatic extremes, resulting in historic drought, major forest fires and ocean heat waves in the Mediterranean.

Early and late heat waves

2022 was also affected by two off-season heat waves: a very early heat wave in May and a late episode of unprecedented heat at the end of October.

Severe thunderstorms and tornadoes

Stormy episodes, often intense, marked the year 2022. Violent ice storms occurred throughout the summer, while in October, tornadoes were seen under violent thunderstorms from Normandy to Nord-Pas-de-Calais.

Europe-wide, the summer of 2022 was record-breaking.

The year 2022 will become the new “normal”

Scientific experts say that the remarkable summer episodes of 2022 would have been highly unlikely and significantly less intense without the effect of climate change. Using attribution studies to calculate the influence of climate change, including human influence and without human disturbance of the climate, they predict more frequent and intense heat waves, occurring earlier and later in the season.

The five-day heat wave from 15th to 19th June 2022 was the earliest ever recorded at the national level. Experts say this early heat wave would have been 10 times less likely to occur in a climate not warmed by human activities and would have been 1.6 to 1.8°C less intense.

In 2040, this type of episode will be two to three times more frequent than in the current climate and 0.7°C more intense.

Meanwhile, the heat waves from 12th to 25th July and 31st July to 13th August 2022 would have been eight times less likely to occur in a climate not warmed by human activities and would have been 2°C less intense.

“In 2040, this type of episode will be twice as frequent as in the current climate and 1°C more intense.”

Over the full period of May – June – July – August 2022, the average temperature anomaly reached 3.78°C. Studies estimate that this period would have been virtually impossible in a climate not warmed by humans.

2022 around the world

Across the globe, it is currently estimated that in 2022 the global average temperature exceeded the pre-industrial average (period 1850-1900) by about 1.15°C. Despite the cooling caused by La Niña extending over three consecutive years, the year 2022 will be the fifth or sixth hottest year recorded in the world. Thus, according to the World Meteorological Organisation (WMO), the last eight years are on track to become the eight hottest years ever recorded on the planet, a sign of the worsening consequences of climate change.

The European continent is warming the fastest. Over the past 30 years, a rise in temperatures more than twice the global average has been recorded here, with a warming of around +0.5°C per decade.

Roca Team finish 2022 on a high with Euroleague victory

AS Monaco Basketball will finish 2022 joint-top of the Euroleague after a late comeback against Zalgiris on Thursday (84-82) sealed a narrow victory at the Salle Gaston Médecin. 

The Roca Team were led for the entire fixture but produced a thrilling late comeback to ensure that they head into 2023 joint-top of the Euroleague table, with a playoff spot at the end of the season well and truly within reach.

As is often the case, Monaco had little time to prepare for the arrival of the Lithuanian team, and it showed in the opening quarter, with the home side failing to match the intensity of their visitors.

Heading into the second quarter with a nine-point deficit (17-26), Monaco had to muster a comeback, and they did so, albeit incrementally. Elie Okobo (22 points) was the face of the revival, helping the Roca Team come back into the game, and get within striking distance in the fourth-quarter.

With just a matter of seconds on the clock, the Frenchman took control, converting his free-throws before dunking Monaco level. Okobo, with Jaron Blossomgame, then allowed the Roca Team to grow a narrow lead. Nonetheless, Zalgiris did have the chance to win the game with the final possession, but they missed their buzzer shot, allowing Monaco to seal the victory (84-82) and ensure they finish the calendar year joint-top of the Euroleague table.

“I want to congratulate my guys for getting this difficult victory. We are top, but that doesn’t mean much. January is coming quickly and with an equally difficult calendar,” said Sasa Obradovic post-match.

Monaco now have a short break before returning to action with a trip to Partizan on 5th January.


Photo by AS Monaco Basket


Talent call for 2023 MC Summer Concert

The date for 2023’s MC Summer Concert has been set, and young musicians and artists can now apply to take part. Could you be the next star performer? 

Next year’s MC Summer Concert will be taking place on 7th July 2023. The event is a collaborative initiative born of the National Council, the Government of Monaco and the Monaco City Hall, and shines the spotlight on young musical talent in the Principality.  

The inaugural event in 2019 was a huge success, but due to the Covid-19 pandemic, it was forced to take a two-year hiatus. 2022 marked the highly-anticipated return of the concert and next year the popular music event will again return to the Espace Léo Ferré.   

Applications for the big event are now open for all Monaco residents between 13 and 25 years of age, alone or part of a group. Artists are asked to put together a 20-minute presentation of their skills; a showcase of “musical identity and stage presence”.  

The application form is available online and entries close on 27th March 2023. 

For more information, please click here.  



Photo source: Israel Palacio for Unsplash

Annales Monégasques: Special edition commemorates Prince Albert I

The 2022 edition of the Annales Monégasques takes readers on an intimate journey through the awe-inspiring years of Prince Albert I’s life, Monaco’s eminent “Explorer Prince”.

Each year, the Annales Monégasques publish a new journal that detail a chapter of the history of Monaco. This year, to commemorate the centenary of the death of Prince Albert I, the 46th edition celebrates the life and achievements of the Prince.

The symposium, The Careers of a Prince: The Life and Territories of Albert I of Monaco (1848-1922), was held in Monaco early this year, and it is with the proceedings of this event that this edition of the Annales begins.

Comprising 11 chapters, the first theme of Sports and Life in the Open Air presents to the reader a “richly illustrated monograph” detailing his journeys on a Humber Beeston motorcycle through France and Monaco from 1903 to 1905. Another passion of the prince was hunting, with a number of documents creating an image of someone who was practised in the sport, and who had anticipated current debates on the subject.

Another key theme, Exercises of Power, talks about the funeral of Victor Hugo in 1885 and how it marked a significant event in the Prince’s life. Readers are allowed an intimate view into his mind through a personal letter to his father explaining what he had seen as a member of the crowd.

Entitled Radiation and International Commitments of the Prince, three separate articles provide a deeper insight into his international dealings. The first looks at the contradiction between the Prince’s stance on anti-colonialism and his colonial business dealings in Mozambique, and these arrangements as a means of preserving peace. The second article covers Albert’s meeting with Iranian diplomat and pacifist Mirza Riza Khan and the first Peace Conference at The Hague. Lastly, the third article deals with the Prince’s involvement in the care and convalescence of wounded allies in Monaco during World War I.

Prince Albert’s scholarly life and scientific work are also documented in three articles, including his interest in anthropology, his contribution to marine safety and the preservation of fisheries resources, and his participation in the Geographical Society of Paris.

The final theme, Artistic culture and Patronage, deals with “the political and artistic sensitivity of Albert I” as well as the second wife of the Prince, Princess Alice of Monaco and the mixed opinions held by her contemporaries.

The 46th edition of the Annales Monégasques is now available for purchase here and is available in both paper copy and as a pdf.


Photo source: Annales Monégasques/Palais Princier de Monaco

€100 for new carpoolers as of New Year

As part of plans to boost the number of commuter rideshares, France is launching a financial bonus scheme for drivers, and it’s easy to apply.  

How does getting paid to help cut emissions and wasted time stuck in unnecessary traffic sound? From January 2023, drivers who offer a lift to co-workers via a recognised lift-sharing platform could be in line for a €100 bonus under France’s Daily Carpooling Plan, which is aimed at regular short-distance commuters.  

“The bonus is intended to promote carpooling,” says Agnès Pannier-Runacher, French Minister for Energy Transition. “In addition to the positive climate effects of this measure, it is a response to the increase in fuel prices.” 

The government, which will set aside €150 million for the plan over the next four years, estimates that carpooling currently represents just 3% of home-to-work journeys. With the launch of the new action plan, it is hoped that the figure will increase from 900,000 to 3,000,000 by 2027. Calculations by the Ministry for Transport suggest this would signify a 4.5 million tonne reduction to CO2 emissions each year as well as a considerable curtailment in the levels of traffic that bring cities to a standstill every day. 

How does the scheme work?

The €100 bonus will be paid in two instalments: an initial €25 once the first rideshare is completed and the remaining €75 following a further nine trips that must take place within the next three months.  

It is available to all first-time carpool drivers who offer a ride to colleagues and other local commuters using one of the many rideshare platforms available across the country (the official list of platforms that have signed up to the scheme can be found here).  

All carpool journeys of less than 80 km will be eligible. A valid driving licence is, of course, required.  

For further information, please click here.



Photo source: Nabeel Syed for Unsplash

Archbishop Emeritus Bernard Barsi: “He knew how to provide advice and comfort to everyone”

Tributes have come in from the Palace, the Prince’s Government and the National Council for former Archbishop of Monaco Bernard Barsi, who passed away on Wednesday aged 80 years.

An official communication from the Palace reads: “HSHs Prince Albert II and Princess Charlene learned with deep sadness and great emotion of the sudden death of Monsignor Bernard Barsi, Archbishop Emeritus of Monaco…

“The Principality keeps the memory of a passionate man of faith, attached to the priesthood and to the values of the Gospel, who, thanks to his benevolence and his ability to listen, knew how to make himself appreciated by everyone in the diocese.

“In these hours of sorrow, the Prince and Princess wish to honour the memory of the man who, for more than 20 years, accompanied the Sovereign Family, spiritually and pastorally, in the most significant moments of the Principality’s recent history.”

The Princely Couple sent their condolences to the family of Monsignor Barsi “as well as to the people, clerics and laity, who were dear to him.”

Rentrée des Tribunaux 2018, photo courtesy Prince’s Palace.

The Government of Monaco also released a public statement, saying, in part: “During all these years, until his retirement in 2020, Monsignor Bernard Barsi guided the Catholic community of Monaco with benevolence and fraternity. Always attentive to the faithful, he knew how to provide advice and comfort to everyone. His human qualities were unanimously recognised and appreciated.

“Since his episcopal consecration on October 8, 2000, he has been the actor and the privileged witness of the moments of joy and sadness of the Monegasque community and of the major religious events that have accompanied the Princely Family and the population of the Principality.”

The Mairie de Monaco, in its homage to the Archbishop Emeritus, said “Deeply attentive and accessible, Monsignor Barsi has also always shown great availability, especially during traditional celebrations organised by the Mairie, testifying to his strong attachment to Monaco and its population.”

Bernard Barsi was born in Nice and was appointed Archbishop of Monaco in 2000 by Pope John Paul II where he served for two decades before retiring in 2020. He died at the L’Archet Hospital in Nice on Wednesday 28th December after suffering a heart attack on 24th December.

The funeral will take place on Wednesday 4th January in the Cathedral of Monaco. Like his predecessors, Bishop Bernard Barsi will be buried in the bishops’ vault under the chapel of the Blessed Sacrament.

His coffin will be on public display at the Chapel of Mercy, opposite the Town Hall of Monaco, on Monday 2nd and Tuesday 3rd January.


Photo above taken during Sainte Devote 2017, courtesy Prince’s Palace