Extreme heat, wave of fires and droughts: this was the climate crisis
The record temperatures< /strong> They are not just in southern Europe.Germany, Belgium and the United Kingdom faceextreme heat. In fact, the United Kingdom has registered an all-time recordover 40°C, announced British meteorological agency Met Office in the midst of the heat wave sweeping Western Europe. “For the first time we are above 40°C in the UK,” at Heathrow airport in west London, he said. Met Office.The previous heat record dating back to 2019 had been broken a few hours earlier, with 39.1°C in south London.
Already last Sunday, the United Kingdom activated The red alert was issued for the first time in its history due to high temperatures, although the Meteorological Office warned that the real record would occur this Tuesday, when it is estimated that the thermometers will reach 43 degrees in some parts of the country.
In the south, which until now has been the most affected territory, < strong>France lived Monday was the “hottest day” of the current wave, a fact that various temperature records in western locations such as Brest with 39.3º or Nantes with 42º, as indicated by the the Météo-France meteorological service. Meanwhile, in Spain and Portugal, firefighters continue to fight forest fires that are devastating thousands of hectares.
This heat wave is the secondrecorded in less than a month in Europe. For scientists, the continuity of these phenomena is a direct consequence of climate change.
Germany is preparing
This Tuesday, the heat wave will arrive in western Germany, where meteorological services predict temperatures of up to40 degrees throughout the day. The German Weather Service (DWD) has forecast that some western regions will exceed The previous record mark, set at 39.2 degrees. Also, the heat will spread then into southern Germany, where it is expected to reach some eastern regions, includingBerlin, on Wednesday.
The absolute maximum in Germany was recorded in July in 2019 in Duisburg, one of the urban centers in the west of the country, when 41.2 degrees were reached. The country's authorities have called on the population of these regions to exercise the utmost caution in the face of this new wave of extreme heat.
Museums open to face the heat
In Belgium they are also immersed in the heat wave that spreads across Europe, with temperatures that can reach up to 40 degrees< /strong>in some parts of the country. The Government has taken some measures to mitigate the effects of high temperatures: some trains will stop running and businesses, such as butchers or bakeries, will close earlier and others, such as flower shops, will not open.
The Belgian government has also announced that federal museums will open their doors for free< /strong>for people over 65 years of age and for their companions during these days so that they can face the high temperatures in air-conditioned spaces. It is one of the extraordinary measures with which the authorities try to face the heat wave that this Monday reached to the country and whose peak is expected this Tuesday, with temperatures that can reach up to 40 degrees, according to the Royal Meteorological Institute, which activated theorange alerton Monday.
“The main mission of our great museums is, obviously, to show a collection. But they are also institutions open to society and at the service of the population“, he pointed out. ; The Secretary of State for Science Policy, Thomas Dermine, who defended the case. that these spaces are “fully available to vulnerable people in the event of extreme weather events”.
TheRegion of Flanders applied this Monday a orange code in all its natural reserves due to the persistence of heat and dryness, reported the company. The Flemish Agency for Nature and Forests on their website. “It is very dry and the risk of fireis very tall, so it is Smoking and making fires are prohibited in nature reserves and forest areas,” warned the agency, which also recommends not leaving children unattended.
Although high temperatures are unusual in the As a country, Belgium has had particularly hot weeks in recent summers, to the point thatin 2019 the red alert was activated for the first time,in a year in which it was exceeded This level of risk was also activated in 2020.
Scotland, in amber
Scotland could have this Tuesday the day hottest in its history with temperatures that are predicted 35 degrees. The Met Office has said there is “a good chance” that the Scottish record of 32.9 degrees will be broken. this week. On Monday most of Scotland registered high temperatures, with Edinburgh and Aberdeenshire passing the 30 degree mark.
Justice Secretary and Senior Minister for Resilience, Keith Brown, has commented that the Scottish Government is receiving regular updates from transport providers, the NHS (medical service) and public services. of emergency on the impact of the heat wave. “I urge people to think about whether they have to travel and, if they do, to make sure they are well equippedand plan your trip in advance” he said addressing the population. “Train passengers and conductors should make sure they have water, sunscreen, hats and sunglasses and have a fully charged phone in case of any difficulty” he added.
The forest fires that devastate southern Europe with thousands of hectares at this time have forced the eviction of more than 30,000 people,who have had to be cared for in the emergency shelters set up for evacuees.
In France, the fire that is affecting the Gironde region has already burned nearly 17,000 hectares. “It's a monster like an octopus, and it's growing and growing and growing in the front, in the back, on both sides. Because of the temperature, because of the wind, because of the lack of water in the air… < strong>it is a monster and it is very difficult to fight against it”, said Jean-Luc Gleyze, regional president of the Gironde, when asked about the flames.< /p>
In Portugal, where temperatures reached 47 degrees last Thursday, most of the country has been declared in danger of fire. Between Spain and the Portuguese country, more than 1,000 deaths have been reported due to the heat in recent days.