Extreme heat is scorching Europe and other parts of the world, causing wildfires and health concerns.
In Greece and the Canary Islands, firefighters are battling blazes, while Spain has issued heat warnings. Italy’s Sardinia has warned children to stay away from the sport for safety reasons.
The United States is also experiencing continuous heatwaves, with Phoenix breaking a 49-year-old temperature record. From Washington to Beijing, officials are urging people to stay hydrated and avoid the sun. Southern France has seen local temperature records shattered.
The World Meteorological Agency (WMO) has warned that the heat wave shows no signs of abating. John Nairn, a senior extreme heat advisor at the WMO, stressed the need for the world to prepare for more intense heat waves. The effects of global warming are evident in an increase in the frequency and intensity of these events.
In Greece, forest fires continue to wreak havoc in many areas, including the forest of Dervenohoria. In the Canary Islands, fires have forced thousands of residents to evacuate homes, with poor air quality making face masks essential. Italy and Spain are also battling extreme temperatures, leading to red alerts being issued in some areas. Sardinia and Sicily in Italy are at risk of surpassing heat records across the continent. In response, restrictions have been imposed, including limiting beach access and banning sporting activities.
Climate change is a significant factor contributing to these extreme weather events. Millions of Americans are experiencing dangerously high heat levels, with the National Weather Service warning for heat protection. Phoenix in Arizona broke the record for consecutive days with temperatures of 110F or higher. Robert Voutard, director of France’s climate institute, highlights that heat waves in Europe and around the world are the result of various factors exacerbated by climate change.
Record temperatures in parts of Asia caused torrential rains in southern China and Vietnam, forcing people to evacuate. The extreme heat coincides with a meeting in Beijing between US climate envoy John Kerry and Chinese officials, where they discuss the need to reduce planet-warming emissions and the need for global leadership on climate issues.
As the world grapples with these unprecedented heat waves, it is becoming increasingly clear that urgent action is needed to address climate change and reduce its impact on our planet and the lives of people around the world.