The planet’s northern hemisphere is enveloped in a sweltering heat wave that is already gripping parts of Europe, China and the United States, where record temperatures are expected this week.
Several European nations, including France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Poland, are experiencing scorching temperatures.
Up to 48 degrees Celsius expected in Italy
The thermometer could reach up to 48 degrees Celsius in Sicily and Sardinia, writes the European Space Agency on its website. ‘Potentially the hottest temperatures ever recorded in Europe‘.
The blame, various European meteorological services explain, lies with the anticyclone called Cerberus. Which has arrived from the Sahara desert, is expanding northwards and is expected to last another five days.
The merciless heat of Cerberus is affecting Greece, Spain, Italy and Turkey in particular. Its effect adds to that of the climatic phenomenon known as El Nino. Which returned a few weeks ago after seven years.
Alerts also in North Africa, North America and China
The heat is also stifling in North Africa. The Moroccan Meteorological Service has issued a red alert for the south of the country.
Extreme heat wave warnings have been issued in the US for more than 100 million Americans with the National Weather Service predicting particularly dangerous conditions in Arizona, California, Nevada and Texas.
Some regions in China, including the capital Beijing, are also experiencing particularly high temperatures. And, a Chinese power company said that its single-day power production reached a record high on Monday.
According to the US space agency Nasa and the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service, last month was the hottest June on record.
More than 60,000 deaths from heat waves in 2022 in Europe
More than 60,000 deaths can be attributed to the heatwaves that hit Europe in the summer of 2022, according to a wide-ranging study published in the scientific journal Nature Medicine.
Estimates by scientists from the French Institute for Health Research (Inserm) and the Institute of Global Health in Barcelona (ISGlobal) suggest that if there is no effective response to the problem, the European continent will record at least 68,000 heat-related deaths each summer by 2030. And more than 94,000 by 2040.
The summer of 2022 was the hottest ever recorded in Europe. And was characterised by consecutive heat waves, record temperatures, droughts and forest fires.