EUROPE in CRISIS ~ Record-Setting Heat Conditions and Wild Forest Fires

by Diana Gooding on July 20, 2022

The death toll is mounting as extreme conditions continue

Extreme heat breaks temperature records across Europe

From a News Broadcast of DW News, Germany, July 19, 2022

The United Kingdom on Tuesday provisionally recorded its hottest-ever temperature reading, with the mercury rising above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) for the first time. A temperature of 40.2 C was recorded at London Heathrow shortly before noon GMT, according to the Met Office weather service.

The record-breaking day follows the UK’s warmest-ever night, with temperatures in some regions remaining above 25 degrees Celsius (77 Fahrenheit) from Monday to Tuesday, according to the Met Office.

The 40 C mark was announced shortly after the day’s first record-breaking reading of 39.1 C was provisionally recorded at Charlwood in the southern Surrey region. The UK’s previous all-time record high of 38.7 C (101.7 F) was set in 2019. Tuesday’s record could be broken again as the day goes on, with temperatures expected to continue rising in the afternoon.

On the other side of the English Channel, several towns and cities in France recorded their highest-ever temperatures on Monday. Saint-Brieuc, on the normally temperate coast of Brittany, topped 39.5 C. The western city of Nantes recorded 42 C, beating a decades-old high of 40.3 C set in 1949.

In southwestern France’s Gironde region, two large wildfires raging for a week across dry pine forests have forced the evacuation of 32,000 people. The blazes have already destroyed a total of 190 square kilometers (more than 70 square miles) of forest. Fire officials said strong winds and heat are fanning the flames, despite the deployment of waterbombing aircraft.

Germany’s weather service (DWD) said Tuesday that parts of the country’s west could crack the 40 C mark, putting the all-time temperature record of 41.2 C recorded in 2019 within reach. The DWD said the extreme heat is centered on the Western states of Saarland, Rhineland-Palatinate and North Rhine-Westphalia, especially including low-lying areas on the Rhine and Ruhr rivers.

Areas of Germany have also raised forest fire alert levels. In 10 of Germany’s 16 states, predominately in the south, west and northeast, the highest of five alert stages has been issued. The Bavarian forestry minister has called on the public to be especially careful when walking through forests, warning that even a single cigarette butt can ignite an inferno.

See the DW News video here.


Extreme heat prompts alerts in 28 states as Texas, Oklahoma hit 115

From an Article by Matthew Cappucci, Washington Post, July 20, 2022

Some 200 million people will experience temperatures in the 90s or higher for the next three days.

Records are crashing as temperatures spike amid a high-end heat wave baking the Great Plains. Temperatures have spiked to 115 degrees in Texas and Oklahoma, with more than 60 million Americans anticipated to see triple-digit heat over the next week.

Heat advisories and excessive heat warnings affect more than 105 million people in 28 states both across the central United States and the Northeast, where the combination of hot weather and high humidity will lead to conditions ripe for heat-related illness or heatstroke.

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Cable N. Network July 20, 2022 at 8:34 pm

The amount of Greenland ice that melted last weekend could cover West Virginia in a foot of water

By René Marsh and Angela Fritz, CNN, July 20, 2022

Pituffik, Greenland (CNN) ~ The water off the coast of northwest Greenland is a glass-like calm, but the puddles accumulating on the region’s icebergs are a sign that a transformation is underway higher on the ice sheet.

Several days of unusually warm weather in northern Greenland have triggered rapid melting, made visible by the rivers of meltwater rushing into the ocean. Temperatures have been running around 60 degrees Fahrenheit — 10 degrees warmer than normal for this time of year, scientists told CNN.

The amount of ice that melted in Greenland between July 15 and 17 alone — 6 billion tons of water per day — would be enough to fill 7.2 million Olympic-sized swimming pools, according to data from the US National Snow and Ice Data Center.

Put another way, it was enough to cover the entire state of West Virginia with a foot of water.


Kenny Stancil July 20, 2022 at 9:56 pm

We Are Sleepwalking Towards the Edge,’ Says Greta as UK Sees Hottest Day on Record

Article by Kenny Stancil, Common Dreams, July 19, 2022

As the United Kingdom endures its hottest day on record amid Europe’s unprecedented and ongoing heatwave, Swedish climate activist Greta Thunberg warned Tuesday that the worst is yet to come—unless people around the world work together to dislodge the profit-maximizing economic system that is endangering life on Earth.

“The climate crisis will continue to escalate and get worse as long as we stick our heads in the sand and prioritize profit and greed over people and planet,” said Swedish activist Greta Thunberg.

“This is not ‘the new normal,’” Thunberg wrote on social media. “The climate crisis will continue to escalate and get worse as long as we stick our heads in the sand and prioritize profit and greed over people and planet. We are still sleepwalking towards the edge.”


Al Gore July 21, 2022 at 8:53 am


Meet the Leader/Linda Lacina: We’re two years into the ‘Decade of Action’. How are we doing?

Al Gore: That’s a loaded question. Uh, let me take a step back and start by explaining why so many people are saying this decade is so crucial for climate action. Over the last couple of years we’ve heard many leaders from all around the world make pledges to achieve net zero global warming pollution emissions by 2050. And that 2050 timeline is aligned with the latest science and the goal of the historic Paris Agreement in 2015.

And if we reach net zero by 2050, we will be able to limit global temperature increases to 1.5 degrees Celsius and the Earth’s temperatures will stop going up once we reach net zero with a lag time of as little as three to five years. But here’s the catch: the science is very clear that we will only be able to achieve that goal if we cut our current emissions in half by 2030 over the next eight years. What that means is that the actions that our leaders take right now, this year, and over the next eight years, will determine whether we’re able to keep that 2050 goal within reach.

“The impacts of the climate crisis are still increasing much faster than we have yet been able to deploy the solutions. We have the solutions. We need the policies and the political decisions and business decisions to implement them.”

— Al Gore, former US Vice President and founder of the Climate Reality Project


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