Europe experiencing the hottest summer in its history
Average temperatures in Europe are 0.4 degrees Celsius higher than the previous year, with the heat being the leading cause behind the deaths of thousands.
On Thursday, new data provided by the Copernicus Climate Change Service suggests that this would be the second historic summer in a row for Europe, with average temperatures 0.4 degrees Celsius higher than the previous year.
August, in particular, was the hottest, with temperatures significantly passing the 2018 record by 0.8 degrees Celsius.
Freja Vamborg, a senior scientist at the institute, described the last three months as a "summer of extremes," wreaking havoc across the continent.
Thousands of people have died in Europe due to the weather. In July, authorities reported that over 1,100 people were killed in a heatwave in Spain and Portugal.
Livelihoods have also been affected; crops and forests have either withered or been burnt to the ground, with wildfires and droughts affecting growth and sustainability. Wildfires that stretched from the Caucasus Mountains to the Atlantic coast have ripped through 50% more land than the previous record, in 2017.
The conditions were exacerbated by global warming, according to scientists. A recent analysis, for example, suggested that the burning of fossil fuels and other activities which release carbon contributed to rendering a heatwave in Britain ten times more likely.
Carlo Buontempo, director of the Copernicus service, said: “We expect these kinds of hot extremes to become more frequent and severe because of climate change,” revealing that “Trends in this direction are clearly visible in the observational records.”
The last seven years have been the warmest to date, to the point that even the current cooling pattern in the Pacific Ocean and other natural fluctuations cannot reverse the man-made catastrophe.
In the first quarter of 2022, the volume of greenhouse gas emissions in the European Union increased by 6% compared to the same period last year, according to the EU statistical office Eurostat.
As the climate crisis worsens, governments seem to be taking little to no action to assist citizens with the proper measures to deal with the scorching heat.
The heatwave is caused by the emissions of greenhouse gases, which created a build-up in the earth's atmosphere and caused the climate to heat further above its usual levels.
In France and the UK, "red" alerts were issued due to rising temperatures. For the UK, it was the first time ever that the nation issued a heat-related warning, cautioning that there was a "risk to life".
One city in southwest France, Gironde, evacuated more than 16,000 residents due to the ravaging wildfires that devoured over 13,000 hectares of vegetation in the Bordeaux region in six days.