Climate scientists: Europe's temperature increases 3-4 times faster than at the same latitude
Extreme heat is hitting many countries in Europe as energy shortages scorch the region. Temperatures in Britain reached a record high of 40.3 degrees Celsius in the last 24 hours, according to provisional data from the Met Office, with several areas breaking previous records for the hottest temperatures and forecasters warning that temperatures are still climbing. France issued an extreme heat warning and the Netherlands reported record-breaking July temperatures. Germany experienced its hottest day of the year so far, with the German weather service forecasting that western Germany could break the 40 degree Celsius mark this week. Italy is predicted to spend the week in the 40 degree Celsius heat.
In addition to the record high temperatures, the number of fire alarms is also surging. Southwest France recently experienced its worst wildfires in more than 30 years, with deadly wildfires in France, Spain, Portugal and Greece forcing thousands of people to evacuate their homes. "Fires erupted, runways melted, fire engines burned and temperature records tumbled," European media said as they documented the fierce heat wave. So far, thousands of people have died in the heat wave.
"This is the third super heat wave Europe has experienced so far this year, following record high temperatures in many regions in May and June. Heat waves are occurring more frequently and at higher temperatures due to human-induced climate change." Vikki Thompson, a climate scientist at the University of Bristol who has long studied global climate extremes, especially extreme heat, said greenhouse gases in the atmosphere have increased the average global temperature by more than 1 degree Celsius since 1900. "Heat waves in Europe are increasing at an accelerated rate, three to four times faster than in other regions at the same latitude. This is due to changes in high-speed air currents bringing hotter air currents to the region more frequently."