Saturday, March 25, 2023

Europe withers under early heat wave from Middle to North Sea

Europe Withers Under Early Heat Wave From Middle To North Sea

A blanket of warm air stretching from the Mediterranean to the North Sea is bringing much of Western Europe its first heatwave of the summer, with temperatures exceeding 30 degrees Celsius (86 degrees Fahrenheit) from London to Paris on Friday.

Meteorologists say the extraordinary early heat wave is a sign of what is to come as global warming continues, rising in the calendar with temperatures that Europe would previously have seen only in July and August.

“In some parts of Spain and France, temperatures are more than 10 degrees higher – that’s high – than the average for this time of year,” said Clare Nullis, a representative of the World Meteorological Organization in Geneva.

In France, about 18 million people woke up on Friday from heatwave warnings that affected about a third of the country. Forest fire warnings have been issued from the Pyrenees in the south to the Paris region.

Tourists dipped their feet into fountains near the Eiffel Tower or sought relief in the Mediterranean.

France has introduced numerous measures to cope with extreme summer temperatures following a deadly heat wave in 2003 that killed some 15,000 people.

School children were allowed to skip classes in the 12 western and south-western French regions that were under the highest warning on Friday. The government has stepped up efforts to ensure that residents of nursing homes and other vulnerable populations can remain hydrated.

Temperatures in France rose all week and passed 39 C (102.2 F) in the southwest on Friday. Night temperatures are also extremely high, with heat extending to normally cooler regions in Brittany and Normandy on the Atlantic coast.

Matthieu Sorel, a climatologist at the national weather service Meteo France, told public broadcaster France-Info that temperatures are expected to break several records. He called the extraordinarily early long stretch of warm weather a “marker of climate change”.

Britain recorded its hottest day of the year so far, with temperatures reaching 32.4 C Celsius (90 Fahrenheit) at Heathrow Airport near London just after noon.

The heatwave prompted organizers of the Royal Ascot horse racing event to relax their famous strict dress code, with men allowed to take off their jackets and ties as soon as the traditional carriage march by members of the royal family ended.

In the Dutch capital, Amsterdam, people boarded trains to the nearest North Sea beach early Friday afternoon while other boats and stand-up paddlers took to canals on one of the city’s historic ring of canals.

In Germany, where firefighters set off several wildfires, including one south of the capital Berlin, the national weather service predicted that the heavy sweating would continue over the weekend as the heat moved to Central and Eastern Europe. This follows an unusually dry spring in Western Europe, with authorities ordering rationing of water in northern Italy and parts of France and Germany.

Experts say climate change is already affecting rainfall patterns and evaporation rates across the region, with side effects for agriculture, industry and wildlife.

“Heat waves start earlier,” said Nullis, of the UN weather agency. “They are becoming more frequent and worse due to concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which are at record levels. What we see today is unfortunately a foretaste of the future. ”

She noted that extreme temperatures have hit other parts of the world in recent weeks. Nearly a third of Americans were under some form of heat advice this week. During months of scorching temperatures, India and Pakistan have seen mercury scrape past 50 C (122 F) in some places.

The current heat wave in Europe started almost a week ago in Spain, where temperatures reached 43 C (109.4 F). Spanish authorities hope the weather will start to cool down again on Sunday.

The intense temperatures and a lack of rain helped to ignite wildfires across Spain, which taxed the firefighting capacity.

The heat is also being felt at a meeting in Madrid, where experts and policymakers met to discuss ways to tackle drought and the increasing spread of deserts around the world.

This article is republished from – Voa News – Read the – original article.

Nation World News Desk
Nation World News Desk
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