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Europe Baked in 'Extreme Heat Stress' Pushing Temperatures To Record Highs

Published by Slashdot on Tue, 23 Apr 2024

Scorching weather has baked Europe in more days of "extreme heat stress" than its scientists have ever seen. The Guardian: Heat-trapping pollutants that clog the atmosphere helped push temperatures in Europe last year to the highest or second-highest levels ever recorded, according to the EU's Earth-watching service Copernicus and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Europeans are suffering with unprecedented heat during the day and are stressed by uncomfortable warmth at night. The death rate from hot weather has risen 30% in Europe in two decades, the joint State of the Climate report from the two organisations found. "The cost of climate action may seem high," said WMO secretary-general Celeste Saulo, "but the cost of inaction is much higher." The report found that temperatures across Europe were above average for 11 months of 2023, including the warmest September since records began. The hot and dry weather fuelled large fires that ravaged villages and spewed smoke that choked far-off cities. The blazes that firefighters battled were particularly fierce in drought-stricken southern countries such as Portugal, Spain and Italy. Greece was hit by the largest wildfire recorded in the EU, which burned 96,000 hectares of land, according to the report. Heavy rain also led to deadly floods. Europe was about 7% wetter in 2023 than the average over the last three decades, the report found, and one-third of its river network crossed the "high" flood threshold. One-sixth hit "severe" levels.Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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