heat waves

Heat Waves, Floods, Drought – The Visible Impacts Of Climate Change

A severe heat wave scorched Europe last month. Now, the continent is facing a continuous drought and an avalanche of forest fires – and things aren’t looking good. EU Commissioner Maroš Šefčovič recently cautioned parliamentarians that “the current drought in Europe might become the worst ever.”

Heat Waves

And a drought, especially when mixed with heat waves, is the last thing you want when flames are present, displaying the deadly impacts of climate change.

To say the least, the figures are concerning. According to the European Environment Agency (EEA), the EU reported the biggest amount of area burnt by forest fires since 1985, with over 895,000 hectares of land torched.

Worse, this season is on track to be just as awful. According to the European Forest Fire Information System, the weekly cumulative number of fires due to heat wave situation has been about three to five times the average of data collected between 2006 and 2021. The most recent statistics from July 2nd shows 1,551 fires in the preceding week alone, greatly breaking the previous week’s record of 1,018.

Meanwhile, the Italian government has declared a state of emergency in five northern Italian districts as the region suffers from the worst drought in 70 years. With Europe appearing on fire, the EU isn’t doing itself any favors by designating natural gas as a source of “green” energy moving forward.

Reference- BBC, Associated Press, European Forest Fire Information System, European Environmental Agency website