Climate: This heatwave is the new normal

Europe is suffering during this month of July from heat waves and other consequences due to the rise in temperatures. This alarming situation will probably continue until the middle of next week – and there are still more than 40 days left in summer, notes the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Heat, a new standard

These temperatures are expected to become the norm if we don’t act now. “In the future, this kind of heatwaves are going to be normal. We will see stronger extremes” warned Petteri Taalas, secretary general of the WMO, in a press release.

Mr. Taalas hopes that this will be a wake-up call for governments and that it will have an impact on voting behaviours in democratic countries.

According to IPCC reports, Europe will be the region most affected in the short term by rising temperatures. Along the Mediterranean, increased forest fires, droughts and rising sea levels are expected by 2050.

Children playing in water More fragile health

These heat waves have an impact on health systems that are already weakened by the pandemic. The IPCC Special Report on Extremes also shows that heat waves will be more frequent, longer and more intense in the 21st century. Early warning systems and strengthened health systems will be needed.

The air quality is degraded, affecting vulnerable people in particular.

“When a heatwave goes along with high levels of pollution it exacerbates respiratory, cardiovascular diseases and conditions especially in large urban spaces that are not adapted to cope with these high temperatures,” said Maria Neira, Director of Environment and Health at WHO.

More information:

Guterres: The IPCC Report is a code red for humanity

Climate: Europe warming faster than rest of world (IPCC)

New IPCC report: Emissions can be halved by 2030

Latest news