The latest report from the European Commission’s Joint Research Center has shown that almost half of the European Union (EU) area and Britain are at risk of drought in July. The rare heat wave and drought have also caused devastating wildfires in countries including France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece.
BRUSSELS, July 19, “Xinhua”: The heat wave covering Western and Southern Europe shows no signs of abating. Temperature records are expected to be broken in some countries, while the scorching sun has claimed hundreds of lives and fueled raging wildfires.
Britain’s National Met Office (Met Office) has warned that the country could be bracing for the hottest day on record this week, with temperatures reaching a record 40 degrees Celsius.
The bureau has issued its first red warning for extreme heat, reminding the public that heat can pose a risk of serious illness or even life.
The current record high temperature in Britain is 38.7 degrees Celsius, which was recorded in July 2019.
French news channel BFMTV reported on Monday that departments in western France remained under an “extreme heat” warning, with temperatures expected to reach 40 degrees Celsius.
Spain’s health ministry said on Monday that 510 people had died from heatstroke in the first week of the heat wave, which saw the mercury hit 45 degrees Celsius in some parts of the country.
The heat especially affects the elderly: 321 of the 510 victims are 85 and older, 121 are 75-84 years old, and 44 are 65-74 years old.
Meanwhile, the heat disrupts everyday life and production. The UK Met Office is warning the public of the risk of loss of power, water or mobile phone service, as well as traffic delays.
The latest report from the European Commission’s Joint Research Center has shown that almost half of the European Union (EU) area and Britain are at risk of drought in July. Drought conditions and water scarcity affect energy production and reduce crop yields.
The rare heat wave and drought have also caused devastating wildfires in countries including France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Greece.
Forest fires raging in southwestern France since July 12 have destroyed 14,000 hectares of land and displaced 16,200 people. About 1,700 firefighters are still trying to put out the fires, but the heat and strong winds are working against them, BFMTV reports.
Wildfires in Spain have burned more than 22,000 hectares of forest and scrub in Spain during the heat wave, local emergency services said.
Media reports that the EU is in talks with manufacturers to buy firefighting planes to curb the threat of severe forest fires.
Climate change is leading to extreme temperatures and changes in the number of heat waves around the world, said Corinne Le Querre, professor of climate change science at Britain’s University of East Anglia.
The expert called for more measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and for more comfortable summer temperatures.
Europe in historic heatwave as heat blazes across parts, kills hundreds
SourceEurope in historic heatwave as heat blazes across parts, kills hundreds