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Sunday, July 14, 2024

Europe Heatwave: Red Alerts in 15 Italian Cities

Italy is experiencing extreme heat, leading to red alerts in 15 cities nationwide, including Rome, Florence, and Bologna. The alerts indicate risks even for healthy individuals. The situation is part of a larger heatwave affecting southern Europe, with potential record temperatures expected in several countries, including Italy, Spain, France, Germany, and Poland.

The European Space Agency (ESA) closely monitors land and sea temperatures through its satellites and has identified these regions as potentially experiencing extreme conditions. This comes after Europe witnessed its highest recorded temperature of 48.8°C in Sicily in August 2021, and similar levels are predicted to be reached again this week.

While periods of intense heat occur naturally, global warming is exacerbating their frequency, intensity, and duration worldwide. The Italian government has advised those in the affected areas to avoid direct sunlight between 11:00 and 18:00 and take special care of the elderly and vulnerable populations.

Greece has also been grappling with temperatures exceeding 40°C (104°F) recently, prompting the closure of the Acropolis during the hottest hours to protect visitors. The country is concerned about an increased risk of wildfires, especially in areas with high winds, following major wildfires experienced in 2021 during another exceptional heatwave.

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High temperatures reaching central Europe have also affected Germany and Poland. The Czechia meteorological office warned of exceptionally high temperatures above 38°C over the weekend. In contrast, the UK expects heavy showers and gusty winds due to a southern jet stream shift, which has drawn low-pressure systems into the country, resulting in unsettled and cooler weather.

Tragically, the heat wave has already claimed lives and caused heat-related illnesses. A man in northern Italy died from the heat, while visitors to Italy, including a British man in Rome, collapsed from heatstroke. Italian forecasters are now warning of another upcoming heatwave named Charon, which is predicted to push temperatures back above 40°C next week.

Heatwaves are not confined to Europe but also affect parts of the US, China, North Africa, and Japan. In response to the extreme conditions, Greece’s Culture Ministry closed the Acropolis during the hottest hours, and the Greek Red Cross has been assisting those affected, distributing water bottles, and aiding individuals experiencing symptoms of heat-related illness.

The record-breaking heat and extreme weather events observed worldwide have led to concerns that such conditions are becoming the “new normal,” as the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) warned. Copernicus, the EU’s climate monitoring service, reported that last month was the hottest June on record, further emphasizing the urgency of addressing climate change and its impact on global weather patterns.

John Collins
John Collins
John is an esteemed journalist and author renowned for their incisive reporting and deep insights into global affairs. As a prominent contributor to City Telegraph, John brings over 5 years of experience covering diverse geopolitical landscapes, from the corridors of power in major capitals to the frontlines of conflict zones.

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