Last month was the hottest July on record, official data showed, shortly after a severe heatwave hit Europe. World Meteorological Organization (WMO) climate expert Álvaro Silva has called such summers “the new normal” because extreme weather events are on the rise due to climate change.
Greek firefighters are still battling a wildfire that has been raging just outside Athens since 22 August. Many new fires are at risk of breaking out in the coming days due to the scorching heat and strong winds. There are reports of several deaths from wildfires across the country. Wildfires have also disrupted shipping through the Dardanelles in Turkey. On 23 August, this activity was partially resumed after firefighters contained a nearby forest fire from spreading.
Firefighters battle a fire on the outskirts of Athens, Greece, on August 24. Photo: Reuters
In France, power company EDP said it may have to reduce nuclear output until the end of next week because the summer caused river water to become too hot, making it difficult to use the water to cool reactors. France also issued extreme heat warnings for some southern regions.
Authorities in Italy have declared a health emergency because of the heat, putting even healthy people at risk. According to the Italian weather news service Meteo.it, on 25 August temperatures in the province of Sardinia sometimes reached 40 °C. The special heat wave was caused by the effect of an anticyclone named Nero. However, from August 26, there will be a sudden drop in the temperature due to the arrival of big storms. Meanwhile, Norway is on red alert for rain in the south of the country after several consecutive weeks of heavy rain, flooding and landslides.