Home WORLD EUROPA Europe is suffocating in a fourth heat wave

Europe is suffocating in a fourth heat wave

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France is already plunged into a historic drought.

“We have never experienced a drought like this,” said Christophe Béchu, French Minister for Ecological Transition.

The bad news is that as far as we can see, we have no reason to think it’s going to stop. »

A quote from Christophe Béchu, French Minister for Ecological Transition

In fact, rain is not on the menu of the weather forecasts for the next few days, even in the regions that are usually wetter.

It’s even worse than that since we have heat waves and drought, a vicious circle which means that because of the drought, we no longer have resources, and because of the heat wave, we need more resourcesadded Mr. Béchu.

A firefighter tackles a forest fire in Portugal.

A firefighter tackles a forest fire in the village of Asseiceira Pequena, in Mafra, Portugal, July 31, 2022.

Photo: Getty Images / PATRICIA DE MELO MOREIRA

Portugal is also hit by an exceptional drought. This country experienced the month oflast years”,”text”:”hottest July in 92 years”}}”>hottest july in 92 yearsaccording to the National Meteorological Institute (IPMA).

In July, the average maximum temperature value was 31.16 degrees Celsius, said theIPMAadding that during this period the thermometer reached 47 degrees, an all-time high for a month of July.

July was also2000″,”text”:”fourth driest month since 2000″}}”>fourth driest month since 2000.

The drought has also worsened. At the end of July, 55% of the territory was classified as severe drought and 45% in extreme drought.

In July, the heat wave that hit Portugal and other countries in Europe caused devastating forest fires.

  A canadair drops water over a forest fire.

A Canadair CL-425 firefighting aircraft drops water over a forest fire near the village of Verin in northwestern Spain on August 4, 2022.

Photo: Getty Images / MIGUEL RIOPA

In Spain, the fires continue to advance in the northwest of the country. In Galicia, firefighters are fighting six fires that have ravaged at least 3,000 hectares in just two months.

The municipality of Boiro is under an alert. Some 1,200 hectares have already gone up in smoke since Thursday near inhabited areas.

The situation remains complicated, helicopters are not enough to control all outbreaksalerted the mayor of the neighboring town ofAt Pobra do Caraminal, Xose Lois Pineiro.

Local media report 700 evacuees in this coastal area.

In total, at least 2,950 hectares have burned in Galicia since the start of the third heat wave that crossed Spain at the end of last week.

Nationwide, 366 fires have destroyed nearly 230,000 hectares, according to the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS). It is the heaviest toll of European Union countries this year and the worst in Spain since 2000.

The resurgence of these heat waves is, according to experts, a direct consequence of global warming, which increases their intensity, duration and frequency.

We are responsible for it

Jean-Pascal van Ypersele.

Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, professor of climatology at the University of Louvain and ex-vice-president of the IPCC

Photo: Radio Canada

In interview at First the infoJean-Pascal van Ypersele, former vice-president of IPCC and professor of climatology at the University of Louvain, recognizes that the planet’s climate is out of order.

[Le climat de la planète] is messed up and it is we who messed it up. »

A quote from Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, professor of climatology at the University of Louvain and former vice-president of the IPCC

We must act as soon as possible

IPCC have been saying it for more than 30year: now it is absolutely necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions if we want to prevent the Earth from becoming less habitable”,”text”:”IPCC scientists have been saying it for more than 30 years: now it is absolutely necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions if we want to prevent the Earth from becoming less habitable”}}”>The scientists of IPCC have been saying for more than 30 years: now, it is absolutely necessary to reduce greenhouse gas emissions if we want to prevent the Earth from becoming less habitablerecalls Mr. Ypersele.

We are far from simple numerical projections on successive reports for decades.

Now we have our nose on the problem and it is high time to understand that we absolutely must achieve the objectives of the Paris agreement.he adds.

Political leaders hear this message, but not enough, Ypersele said: Emissions are still rising and the climate system only understands reality. He does not understand political speeches.

What can we do?

We can act in all areas and the IPCC recorded this in a 3,000-page report, notes Professor Ypersele.

He cites the example of the housing sector, where many things can be done, particularly in terms of building insulation so as to use as little energy as possible for heating or cooling.

The same is true in the field of transport, where it is a question of using as little as possible passenger car combustion engines by promoting, among other things, public transport.

It is also about consuming less meat and livestock products because ruminants are major emitters of greenhouse gases.

And in the industrial field, it is necessary to bet on the search for energy efficiency by avoiding the waste of resources, explains Jean-Pascal van Ypersele.

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