C: UK Met Office

As I write, combat aircraft are being sent from the European Union to Greece. Their mission is to help tackle the wildfires raging across the country, especially in the greater Athens area. The hashtags #Heatwaves and #ClimateEmergency are currently trending on Twitter.

Much of the Northern Hemisphere remains gripped by record heat.

In fact, experts believe that the heatwave will intensify this week, bringing further misery to tens of millions. This is extreme climate change in action, right now.

The temperatures are shocking. Parts of Italy today are due to exceed 45°C. Later this week, they could reach a staggering 48.8°C, which would break the record set in Sicily two years ago.

Italy is predicting that some 23 Italian cities, including Rome, where temperatures are predicted to reach 42 or 43°C, would be on “red alert” by tomorrow. “This is exceptional heat,” Carlo Cacciamani, the chief of Italy’s National Meteorological and Climatology Agency, told the Guardian. “We are expecting days of above 40°C and this is already a strong anomaly. This type of situation is occurring more frequently than it did in the past.”

Italy is not alone. The whole of the southern Mediterranean region is seeing soaring temperatures. The Spanish state meteorological service AEMET is warning of temperatures of between 42°C and 44°C. It, too, has issued alerts. Wildfires on the Canary Island of La Palma continue to burn out of control.

The EU’s Emergency Response Coordination Centre has now issued red alerts for extreme temperatures for most parts of Italy, northeastern Spain, Croatia, Serbia, southern Bosnia and Herzegovina, and Montenegro.

The heat and drought are also spreading north. Even Alpine countries, like Switzerland, are experiencing forest fires. Further afield, almost half of the EU has now slipped into a “severe” drought, with drought conditions spreading into Northern Europe.

The heat is taking it toll. Already there are reports of deaths from heat in Cyprus.

Some 61,000 people died from heat last summer and if the heat continues like this, the death toll could be even higher.

Meanwhile in the US, there is no respite in sight, with hotspot Phoenix set to experience its 19th consecutive day of highs of 110+°F today.

Matt Salerno, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Phoenix told the New York Times, “we’re talking 10 degrees above where they normally are.” Already there have been 12 heat related deaths in the last month.

Last weekend, excessive heatwaves and advisories covered over 100 million people with “dangerous and sweltering heat” especially across much of the Western U.S. Meanwhile, tourists are now traveling to Death Valley in the hope of witnessing the record temperatures, which have now reached 56°C or 133°F. Even parts of Northern states, including Michigan, New York, and Vermont have recently broken daily temperature records.

Nor is the heatwave confined to Europe and US. Temperatures over 40°C are expected in Asia and North Africa. The Moroccan meteorological service issued a red alert for extreme heat warning of temperatures of 38°C to 47°C in central and northern parts of the country. China has already recorded temperatures of 52.2C. Meanwhile in Iran:

Once again the UN has called for urgent action to phase out fossil fuels. “The extreme weather – an increasingly frequent occurrence in our warming climate – is having a major impact on human health, ecosystems, economies, agriculture, energy and water supplies. This underlines the increasing urgency of cutting greenhouse gas emissions as quickly and as deeply as possible,” said WMO Secretary-General Professor Petteri Taalas yesterday.

The head of the WHO also took to Twitter to urge Governments to act too:

They are not the only ones pointing out who is to blame for the extreme temperatures and what is needed to be done:



One Comment

  • How can we make those responsible for this terrible catastrophe pay? The Government will only protect them from our attempt to hold them responsible. If that be the eventual case, then we would be in our right to hold our own Federal Government and Federal institutions responsible as well. But wait, at this point the Supreme Court will once again interfere with our attempt, by reinterpreting a law to suit the protection of those at fault. Of course they are not really empowered to do such things, but the Government will be protected by an new and improved interpretation, so they will stand with the Supreme Court. Yet in truth, the Supreme Court has no power to change an existing law, nor does this corrupt body of late, have the power make new laws. it can only interpret the law of this Country as they were written and accepted by “the people, of the people, and for the people.” We just may have a chance.

    As usual, the above has been written without prejudice, from a successful retired, educated and well traveled businessman.

    Allan Weiss
    CC: Wew Jjw, Dy.

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