Record temperatures are expected around the world on Saturday, from Europe to China to the United States, a new example of global warming, forcing authorities to take drastic measures to deal with these heat waves and new fires.
Globally, June was the warmest on record, according to the European Copernicus and the US NASA and NOAA agencies. Then, the first full week of July was the hottest on record, according to preliminary data from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).
Heatstroke is one of the most extreme weather events, according to the WMO. Last summer, in Europe alone, more than 60,000 deaths were caused by extreme heat, according to a recent study.
The European record can be broken: here the temperature reaches 48 degrees
From Saturday, Italy is expected to experience a heat wave, from north to south, with historic temperature records expected in the coming days.
Since Sunday the thermometer should be 36/37 ° C, the Ministry of Health issued on Friday a red alert valid throughout the weekend for several central cities from Rome to Bologna, Florence to Pescara (39 ° C felt) , before the peak expected at the beginning of the week.
In Rome, temperatures could soar to 40°C on Monday and then 42 or 43°C on Tuesday, shattering the previous record of 40.5°C set in the capital in August 2007.
The north of the peninsula is not to be, with 38°C expected in Milan on Tuesday.
“Current climate change is making such situations more frequent and more intense compared to the past,” said Claudio Cassardo, a meteorologist and professor at the University of Turin.
Health and medical structures have already been mobilized across the country to care for the most frail populations and to intervene in nursing homes with the elderly.
Spain, eastern France, Germany and Poland are also facing a severe heat wave.
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In Athens, the Acropolis is closed
Back in the Mediterranean, Greece has been hit by a heatwave that forced local authorities to close Athens’ Acropolis during the heatwave for the second day in a row.
The site, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and stormed by tourists, will be closed between 11:30 am local (08:30 GMT) and 5:30 pm local (14:30 GMT), the Ministry of Culture announced.
Greek Minister of Culture and Sports Lina reasoned on Friday that “the actual temperature perceived by the body (…) is significantly higher” at the top of the Acropolis if temperatures are expected to be between 40°C and 41°C in Athens. Mentoni.
In recent days visitors have suffered from discomfort, especially at the top of the Acropolis where they came to admire the Parthenon.
The Red Cross came to the aid of tourists on Thursday by distributing “at least 30,000 50cl bottles of water per day” at the foot of the Acropolis.
Many parks and green spaces in Athens will also be closed this Saturday, according to the decision of the authorities in Attica, the region surrounding Athens.
On the other side of the world, South America is roasting under a heat wave: Millions of Americans from California to Texas experienced dangerously high temperatures on Friday, which are expected to peak over the weekend.
Phoenix, the capital of Arizona, recorded its 15th day above 43 degrees on Friday, according to the US Weather Services (NWS).
In California’s Death Valley desert, U.S. firefighters battled one of the most violent fires on Friday.
For Daniel Swain, a climatologist at the University of California, Los Angeles, the mercury there could equal or exceed the maximum air temperature reliably measured on Earth, or the 54.4 degrees Celsius recorded at the same location in 2020 and 2021, according to several experts.
Smoke from more than 500 wildfires burning in Canada has already caused several episodes of severe air pollution in the northeastern United States in June.
In other parts of the world
North Africa is also affected. In Morocco, which has been experiencing a series of heat waves since the beginning of summer, a red heat alert has been issued for several provinces.
Some parts of China, including the capital Beijing, have also been affected by the severe heat wave.
Local forecasters say parts of eastern Japan will reach 38-39C on Sunday and Monday.
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