The dramatic summer of Europe that is on fire

The dramatic summer of Europe that is on fire

After that of 1910, since temperatures were recorded, June 2022 was the second hottest ever in Europe. A record rise in temperatures that led thermometers to exceed 40 degrees from Portugal to Norway. The combination of high temperatures, increasingly long and intense heat waves and low summer rainfall has triggered a series of fires three times higher than the average of the last 16 years, reducing to ashes 346,000 hectares of forests and meadows, roughly the surface of the Valle d'Aosta. Then there is the issue of drought, which impacts agricultural production and hydroelectric energy production, making the energy crisis linked to the war in Ukraine even more serious. And again: in Italy we have witnessed the melting and collapse of glaciers, such as that of the Marmolada, where a new detachment has taken place that has opened a crevasse of 200 meters.

To certify the unsettled records of the summer 2022 are the findings of the European and US climate monitoring bodies, Copernicus and the National oceanic and atmospheric administration (Noaa), and the data of the European forest fire information system (Effis), which monitors fires in Europe.

The temperature records The fires Italy France Portugal Spain East Europe Not just the fires in Rome: here is the map of Italy that burns Using NASA data, has built a map that shows all the fires that satellites have recorded in the last week The temperature records In Italy and France, temperatures reached 40 degrees, but without exceeding this threshold too much. In Spain the maximum peak reached 45.7 degrees and in Portugal for days in some areas it was 47 degrees. In Norway, the mercury hit 44 degrees in several locations and 30 degrees in Tromsø, the third largest city located in the Arctic Circle.

Fires With such a climate, and without the rains necessary to lower temperatures and reduce the risk of fires, the fires that broke out in Europe from 1 January 2022 to 16 July 2022 were the most devastating of the last sixteen years. Against an average of 110 thousand hectares burned per year, the area reduced to ashes in the summer of 2022 has tripled, reaching 346 thousand hectares. A number that represents the extension of the entire Aosta Valley and that could continue to grow until September.

All Italian rivers hit by the great drought The North, especially the Veneto, is suffering. And the Lombardy Region, after Lazio, has declared a state of emergency. Problems also in Tuscany and Marche France In France the situation is more critical and is mainly involving the south-western regions of the country, also causing the evacuation of the inhabitants. In the Gironde department, two huge fires destroyed 10,000 hectares of land in just one week, forcing about 14,000 people to be evacuated. In total, about 26 thousand hectares of land have been on fire for now.

Portugal Portugal holds the record for the highest temperatures reached this summer in Europe, with peaks of 47 degrees and about 238 deaths caused by the waves heat . It is also one of the countries most affected by fires, with around 39,000 hectares of land gone up in smoke, two thirds of which burned in the second week of July. This is triple compared to last year, so much so that it led the government to declare a state of national emergency and the evacuation of 160 people in the most affected areas.

Spain Among the Mediterranean countries, the most affected from the fires is Spain, with 93 ila hectares set on fire, an area four times higher than the average. In particular, the south of the country was hit, in the Costa del Sol area, where 3,000 people were evacuated near the city of Mijas.

Eastern Europe By far, the European country most devastated by the flames in 2022 is Romania, where 149 thousand hectares of the wooded territory of the Balkan country were burned. A national record and largely out of the ordinary. In the rest of the eastern part of the European Union, the numbers are much lower, but still higher than the norm, with 23 thousand hectares of fires in Croatia, seven thousand in Bulgaria and five thousand in Hungary.

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