Europe is suffocating under a fourth heat wave

Europe’suffocates under a fourth ;me heat wave

Lac des Brenets, on the course of the Doubs, a river that acts as a natural border between eastern France and western Switzerland, has almost completely dried up.

Many European countries such as France, Spain and Portugal have been experiencing a series of heat waves since the beginning of summer. The heat wave and the drought are worrying the authorities, who are warning of a situation that is likely to last.

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, there's no reason to think it's going to stop. »

— Christophe Béchu, French Minister for the Ecological Transition

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

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 needs more resources, added Mr. Béchu.

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

Portugal is also hit by an exceptional drought. This country experienced the hottest July in 92 years, according to the National Meteorological Institute (IPMA).

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

July was also the fourth driest month since 2000.

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

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

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

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 on alert. Some 1200 hectares have already gone up in smoke since Thursday near inhabited areas.

The situation remains complicated, the helicopters are not enough to control all the outbreaks, alerted the mayor of the neighboring municipality of A Pobra do Caramiñal, Xosé Lois Piñeiro.

The 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 the country. x27;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). This is the heaviest death toll for 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.

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

In an interview with D'abord l'info, Jean-Pascal van Ypersele, former vice-president of the IPCC and professor of climatology at the University of Louvain , recognizes that the planet's climate is out of whack.

“[The climate of the planet] is out of order and we are the ones who have out of order. »

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

IPCC scientists have been saying this 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, recalls Mr. Ypersele.

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

Now we have our noses on the problem and it is high time to understand that we must meet the Paris Agreement goals, he added.

Political leaders are hearing this message, but not enough, according to Ypersele: emissions are still increasing and the climate system only understands reality. He does not understand political speeches.

We can act in all areas and the IPCC has recorded this in a 3000-page report, notes Professor Ypersele.

He cites the example of the area of ​​habitat, where a lot of things can be done, especially in terms of insulating buildings so as to use as little energy as possible for heating or cooling.

It is about even in the field of transport, where it is a question of using the thermal engines of individual cars as little as possible by promoting, among other things, public transport.

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

And in the industrial field, we must focus on research into efficiency by avoiding the waste of resources, explains Jean-Pascal van Ypersele.

With information from Agence Fr ance-Press

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