Quantcast
Environmental News for a Healthier Planet and Life

Intense Heat Wave Hits Northern Europe

Climate
Intense Heat Wave Hits Northern Europe
Computer model projection of temperature anomalies across Europe on June 27. Temperature scale in °C. Tropicaltidbits.com

A searing heat wave has begun to spread across Europe, with Germany, France and Belgium experiencing extreme temperatures that are set to continue in the coming days.


In Germany, temperatures are expected to exceed 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) on Wednesday, topping the country's previous June record of 38.2 degrees Celsius, set in Frankfurt in 1947. Temperatures in Bonn on Tuesday afternoon reached 35 degrees Celsius.

Firefighters Braced for Busy Week


Climate researcher Andreas Marx has said that the lack of rain in much of the country, particularly in the north and east, the site of much of Germany's agriculture, could have disastrous consequences.

Forest fires are of particular concern for authorities in Germany, especially in the northeast. Local residents were asked to keep windows and doors closed in Lieberoser Heide — southeast of Berlin — while emergency services deal with a fire that broke out on Monday and spread to an area of about 10 hectares (25 acres), the size of 140 soccer pitches. It is expected to take a few days to put out.

Temperatures exceeded 30 degrees Celsius in Frankfurt on Monday.

Imago Images / R. Peters

'We Must Be Vigilant': Macron

Meanwhile, French national weather agency Meteo-France predicted that the hot weather could produce temperatures of up to 40 degrees Celsius, while German agencies suggested the heat may break records.

"It's unprecedented because it's hitting so early, in June. We haven't seen this since 1947," said Emmanuel Demael from the French meteorological agency on Monday.

French President Emmanuel Macron has urged people to be extra vigilant in the coming days.

"As you know, at times like these, sick people, pregnant women, infants and elderly people are the most vulnerable. So we must be vigilant with them and have prevention measures in place in order to intervene as quickly as possible," he said.

His call was repeated by the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Geneva: "Our message this week is simple: look after yourself, your family and your neighbors. A phone call or a knock on the door could save a life."

In 2003 an estimated 70,000 people died in Europe during a heatwave.

Heat Waves on the Increase


Scientists say heat waves of this magnitude are on the increase in Europe, further evidence that the Earth's climate is changing due to the burning of fossil fuels.

Stefan Rahmstorf of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research said "monthly heat records all over the globe occur five times as often today as they would in a stable climate."

"This increase in heat extremes is just as is predicted by climate science as a consequence of global warming caused by the increasing greenhouse gases from burning coal, oil and gas," he added.

Children Sent Home


In many countries, children were dismissed from class early or allowed to skip it entirely.

In France, final exams for students were delayed a week due to the heatwave.

Meanwhile, zoo animals across the continent were treated to special treats such as fruit icicles, buckets of water and swimming pools.

Reposted with permission from our media associate Deutsche Welle.

A new species of bat has been identified in West Africa. MYOTIS NIMBAENSIS / BAT CONSERVATION INTERNATIONAL

In 2018, a team of researchers went to West Africa's Nimba Mountains in search of one critically endangered species of bat. Along the way, they ended up discovering another.

Read More Show Less

EcoWatch Daily Newsletter

Lakota spiritual leader Chief Arvol Looking Horse attends a demonstration against the proposed Keystone XL pipeline from Canada to the Gulf of Mexico in front of the White House in Washington, DC, on January 28, 2015. Nicholas Kamm / AFP / Getty Images

President-elect Joe Biden is planning to cancel the controversial Keystone XL pipeline on the first day of his administration, a document reported by CBC on Sunday suggests.

Read More Show Less

Trending

Seabirds often follow fishing vessels to find easy meals. Alexander Petrov / TASS via Getty Images

By Jim Palardy

As 2021 dawns, people, ecosystems, and wildlife worldwide are facing a panoply of environmental issues. In an effort to help experts and policymakers determine where they might focus research, a panel of 25 scientists and practitioners — including me — from around the globe held discussions in the fall to identify emerging issues that deserve increased attention.

Read More Show Less
A damaged home and flooding are seen in Creole, Louisiana, following Hurricane Laura's landfall on August 27, 2020. Joe Raedle / Getty Images

By Elliott Negin

What a difference an election makes. Thanks to the Biden-Harris victory in November, the next administration is poised to make a 180-degree turn to again address the climate crisis.

Read More Show Less
The new variant, known as B.1.1.7, spread quickly through southeastern England in December, causing case numbers to spike and triggering stricter lockdown measures. Hollie Adams / Getty Images

By Suresh Dhaniyala and Byron Erath

A fast-spreading variant of the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 has been found in at least 10 states, and people are wondering: How do I protect myself now?

Read More Show Less