As fires rage across Spain, Switzerland, and Greece, the Mediterranean is experiencing its second heat wave in as many weeks.

Officials issued a warning to locals and visitors flocking to Mediterranean hotspots on Tuesday, advising them to stay indoors during the hottest hours as the region experiences its second heat wave in as many weeks and wildfires rage in Greece, Spain, and Switzerland.

Red Cross staff in Portugal used social media to warn people not to leave dogs or young children in parked cars, while in Italy they used the telephone to check on the elderly.

Volunteers distributed water to the needy in Greece, and in Spain they warned people to avoid breathing in fire smoke.

A fresh heat wave that has been exacerbated by climate change is currently sweltering several regions of southern Europe and is predicted to last for days.

The U.N. meteorological office issued a warning that temperatures in Europe could break the 48.8-degree Celsius (119.8-degree Fahrenheit) record set in Sicily two years ago as concerns increased that the heat will lead to an increase in mortality.

Health officials in Cyprus have confirmed that a 90-year-old man died from heatstroke over the weekend and that six other elderly patients have been admitted to hospitals. Last week, all seven of them experienced heatstroke at home as the temperature topped 43 degrees Celsius.

The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies’ emergency health unit team leader, Panu Saaristo, stated at a briefing in Geneva that heat waves are indeed a “invisible killer.” In Europe, summers are frequently hotter than winters and last longer.

Around the world, temperature records are being broken, and according to scientists, there is a considerable likelihood that 2023 will go down in history as the year with the highest temperatures ever recorded (measurements go back to the middle of the 19th century).

The Copernicus Climate Change Service of Europe reported that June had the hottest worldwide average temperature ever, and the World Meteorological Organization of the United Nations forecasted that this summer would likely set several heat records.

Unusually high sea surface temperatures and little Arctic sea ice, according to the international body, are largely to blame.

The world is becoming hotter due to human-caused climate change brought on by the burning of coal, oil, and natural gas, which is intensified by the cyclical El Nino weather phenomena. However, the present El Nino has only been going for a short while, is still weak to moderate, and won’t peak until the winter.

Forecasts indicated that temperatures will remain above 40 °C (104 °F), not just in the Mediterranean but also in North America, Asia, and North Africa.

From Bolzano in the north to Palermo in the south, health officials in Italy issued excessive temperature warnings for 20 cities, with that number growing to 23 on Wednesday.

Three sizable flames raged outside of Athens for a second day in Greece, where a second heat wave is anticipated to arrive Thursday. After spending the night on beaches, hotels, and public spaces, thousands of residents who had been evacuated from coastal communities south of the city went back to their homes on Tuesday when the fire finally subsided. But to the north and west of Athens, wildfires kept raging out of control.

To help employees cope with the extreme heat, authorities last week ordered modifications to working hours and afternoon closures of the Acropolis and other historic monuments. By the end of the week, regions of central and southern Greece might see temperatures as high as 44 C (111 F).

The majority of Spain is on high to extreme heat warning, and places around the Ebro River in the northeast and on Mallorca are expected to experience top temperatures of 43 C (109 F). The ongoing dryness in Spain has raised worries about the possibility of flames.

On La Palma in Spain’s Canary Islands, a blaze burnt for a fourth day in a row despite efforts by 400 firemen and nine water-dumping helicopters. The fire, according to the authorities, is still burning despite the perimeter that has been established around it.

A wildfire that overtook a mountainside in the southwest Wallis region of Switzerland prompted the evacuation of four villages and hamlets, and around 150 firefighters, police, army, and other emergency teams from Switzerland spread out to fight it on Tuesday.

The 48.8 degree Celsius record set on August 11, 2021 in Sicily has been validated as accurate, the U.N. weather bureau reported on Monday. There hasn’t yet been a full report released. The previous recorded temperature was 48 degrees Celsius (118.4 degrees Fahrenheit), which was achieved on July 10, 1977, in Athens.

According to John Nairn, senior extreme heat adviser for the WMO, they have arrived as a result of climate change. There is real global warming, and it will continue for some time.

Since the 1980s, there have been six times as many simultaneous heat waves, according to Nairn, “and the trend line isn’t changing.”

Leave a Reply

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