Heatwave: Ferocious European heat heads north

    Image credit: NBC News

    On Tuesday, a fierce heatwave moved north and scorching temperatures were felt throughout much of Western Europe.

    According to preliminary Met Office data, the UK recorded its hottest temperature ever at 40.3C, and forecasters cautioned that temperatures will continue to rise.

    France issued extreme heat warnings, and the Netherlands reported record-breaking July temperatures.

    Thousands of people have had to leave their homes due to deadly wildfires in France, Portugal, Spain, and Greece.

    In Spain’s northwest Zamora region, two people perished in forest fires, and trains in the area were stopped due to burning near the tracks. An elderly couple died while attempting to flee fires in northern Portugal.

    Due to human-induced climate change, heat waves are now more common, more powerful, and last longer. According to German Environment Minister Steffi Lemke, the country’s plans for extremely hot weather, droughts, and flooding must be revised because of the climate problem.

    A day after numerous French cities, including Nantes in the west, experienced their warmest day ever, wildfires were still raging.

    Several campsites were destroyed, and evacuees were housed in temporary shelters as more than 30,000 people were forced to escape.

    The government reported that 12 animals at the zoo at La Teste-de-Buch perished from stress and the extreme heat. Veterinarians, zookeepers, and others worked together in a complicated operation to transport 363 animals to the Bordeaux-Pessac Zoo, located 65 kilometres (40 miles) away.

    At least 20 fires are currently out of control in Spain. As fires burned on both sides of the carriage at the northern border with Portugal, a passenger caught the incident on camera as the train he was riding temporarily came to a stop.

    When a glacier’s melting caused an avalanche that killed 11 people earlier this month, it brought attention to the implications of climate change in Europe. IlMeteo scientists in Italy are now issuing warnings that new crevasses are appearing on Alpine peaks and that even the ice on Mont Blanc, the highest mountain in Western Europe, is melting.

    Since the start of the industrial age, the world has already warmed by around 1.1C, and temperatures will continue to rise unless governments drastically reduce emissions.