Soaring temperatures and wildfires hit Europe

A wildfire
A wildfire (Photo credit: Ross Stone)

The UK is experiencing unusually high temperatures, according to the Meteorological Office in the country, its highest ever temperature is over 40.3C with blazing heat and wildfires occurring across Europe.

According to the British Broadcasting Commission (BBC), extreme heat warnings were issued in France and record July temperatures were reported in the Netherlands. There is an onset of wildfires in France, Portugal, Spain, and Greece which have forced thousands of people to evacuate their homes. More news details mention that two people were killed by forest fires in Spain’s north-western region and trains in the area were halted because of fire near the tracks.

Over the past days, heatwaves have become more frequent, more intense, and last longer because of human-induced climate change. German Environment Minister Steffi Lemke said, “the climate crisis meant the country had to rethink its preparations for very hot weather, drought and flooding”.

Gironde, a popular tourist region in the south-west France, has been hit with wildfires, so firefighters have fought to control two blazes that have destroyed 19,300 hectares (47,700 acres) of land in the past week. “It’s a monster like an octopus, and it’s growing and growing and growing in the front, in the back, on both sides,” said Jean-Luc Gleyze, Gironde’s regional president. The hottest temperatures have now moved to the north and east. Hundreds of people have left their homes in the far north-west of Brittany, and fire has destroyed 1,400 hectares of vegetation.

In other news reports, the French Government said a dozen animals at the zoo in La Teste-de-Buch died of stress and from the high temperatures. In a complex operation involving vets, zookeepers and others, 363 animals that could be moved were driven in convoys to Bordeaux-Pessac Zoo 65km (40 miles) away.

From the BBC, the UK’s Met Office said 40.2°C was provisionally recorded at Heathrow Airport west of London on Tuesday, 19 July and forecasters warned that temperatures were still climbing in many places. These included the south of Belgium as well as western and southwestern Germany where a fire broke out in dunes at the Belgian resort of De Haan, setting several vehicles alight.

Also, the Netherlands, saw one of its hottest days on record on Tuesday, 19 July, with 38.9°C. There is also warning about the continuing rise in temperatures. In other European countries, Spain, and Portugal, more than 1,000 deaths have been attributed to the heat in recent days. A forest fire in Losacio, Spain, left one firefighter dead on Sunday, 17 July and the body of a 69-year-old shepherd was found on Monday, 18 July.

Climate change in Europe caused a melting glacier that triggered an avalanche, killing 11 people. Now experts at Italy’s Il Meteo warn that new crevasses are opening on Alpine peaks and that ice is melting even on Western Europe’s highest mountain, Mont Blanc.

The world has already warmed by about 1.1C since the industrial era began and temperatures will keep rising unless governments around the world make steep cuts to fuel emissions.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *