A heat wave has impacted people in Greece and all across the world, even leading to tragic deaths in Canada.
In Greece, the heat wave began last Tuesday and is forecast to continue until next weekend. The sweltering heat has made scientists increasingly concerned, as they see this as a manifestation of the irreparable damage humans have caused to the planet due to climate change.
Soaring temperatures across the planet
A heat wave hitting Siberia has led to records for the warmest recorded temperature in the area, being broken twice during the first month of summer alone.
Land temperatures in the Arctic Circle have climbed to 48 degrees Celsius (118 Fahrenheit), in what has been referred to as a “persistent heatwave” in Siberia by the EU’s Copernicus Program.
The heat wave began before the Summer solstice on June 21, breaking temperature records before what many consider the official beginning of summer.
This is not the first time Siberia’s climate has been a cause for concern this summer, with scientists calling temperatures “mind boggling” last month when records were broken once before.
In Canada, the heat wave has been extremely destructive, with Canadian police reporting Wednesday that they had responded to more than 130 deaths in the past five days that are considered to have heat as a contributing factor.
On Tuesday, Canada broke its temperature record for a third straight day, notching temperatures of 49.6 Celsius (121.3 Fahrenheit) in Lytton, British Columbia. This is an extremely significant and worrying change, since before Sunday, temperatures across Canada had never in history been higher than 45 degrees Celsius (113 Fahrenheit).
The northwestern region of the US has also been afflicted by the heat wave, with a number of people tragically passing due to the weather.
The Pacific Northwest has seen the highest temperatures recorded in their major cities since the 1940s, when recordkeeping began. On Monday, temperatures reached 46.1 Celsius (114.98 Fahrenheit) in Portland, Oregon, and 42.2 Celsius (107.96 Fahrenheit) in Seattle, Washington.
Severe heat wave in Greece
The temperature of the Aegean Sea rose to 28C (around 82 F) last week, which is four degrees higher than normal for this time of year, due to the extended heatwave that is currently afflicting Greece.
The country made the wise decision to publish health and safety guidelines last Tuesday in order to protect vulnerable groups from harm during the heat. The information was shared via an emergency bulletin by the National Observatory’s Meteo weather service.
At the same time, sand and dust concentrations will continue to be high, especially in western Greece and the Peloponnese.
Another very concerning aspect of the heat wave striking Greece is the danger of fires. Six out of the thirteen Greek administrative regions are suffering a “very high risk” of fire tomorrow, Thursday.
The Wildfire Hazard map issued by the General Secretariat for Civil Protection has placed the regions of Attica, Central Greece, Thessaly, the Peloponnese, Western Greece and the South Aegean on alert level “orange,” meaning they are at risk of fire.