heat wave

Record High Temperatures Hit Europe, Prompting Multiple Heat Warnings 

The UK and other parts of Europe are gearing up for one of the hottest summers to date. Multiple countries, including France and Britain, have issued extreme heat warnings and are working to combat the spreading of multiple wildfires.

British authorities have declared a national emergency and issued a “red extreme” heat warning for the first time in England’s history. Meteorological services in France have placed a majority of the country under the highest possible alert level for heat. 

Forecasters are predicting that Monday and Tuesday will see record-high temperatures in Britain, rising up to 106 degrees Fahrenheit (41 Celsius); the current record is 101.7 degrees Fahrenheit (38.7 Celsius) which occurred in 2019. 

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Nikos Christidis, a climate attribution researcher in the UK, recently spoke to the media stating that climate change is making extreme heat events much more common, especially in the summer months. 

“The chances of seeing 40°C days in the U.K. could be as much as 10 times more likely in the current climate than under a natural climate unaffected by human influence,” he said in a statement

Spain, Portugal, and France are evacuating thousands of their residents due to the threat of ongoing wildfires caused by the extreme temperatures. Authorities have also been warning of degrading air quality in these areas as well, especially in more heavily populated cities. The north of Italy is currently experiencing a state of emergency as well due to the heat and the droughts it’s causing. 

The hospitals in these countries are also becoming overwhelmed due to the additional services they need to provide to help combat the negative impacts of the heat. Additionally, rising Covid-19 cases are putting extra pressure on the hospitals and healthcare services in these nations. 

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Spain’s public Carlos III Health Institute estimate data showed that 350 people died in the country last week due to the heat. Over 800 heat-related deaths were reported by the institute in June, where temperatures reached levels between 104 and 110 degrees Fahrenheit (40-43 Celsius). 

The UK Health Security Agency has issued a level four heat alert, the highest possible level, which warns of illness and possible death even for the healthiest of individuals due to the heat. 

People throughout Europe who live in poorer areas are more likely to live in buildings without access to air conditioning or greener spaces which have trees to offer natural cooling through shade. Christian Huyghe, scientific director at France’s National Institute of Agricultural Research discussed that this is likely just the beginning of the damage the world will experience from climate change. 

“What we see now is just the very beginning of the potential impact of climate change.”

Emergency orders and evacuations will likely continue this week as temperatures remain high.

Government In Dubai Is Artificially Creating Rain To Combat Extreme Heat Wave

Temperatures in Dubai have regularly been surpassing 115 degrees Fahrenheit, so the government has decided to take matters into their own hands by artificially creating rain to cool the metropolitan area. 

Scientists working in the United Arab Emirates are using electrical charges from drones to manipulate the weather and force rainfall across the dry and desert areas of Dubai. Meteorological officials released video footage showing the rain in Ras al Khaimah and several other hot regions. 

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The method is known as “cloud seeding” and so far is proving to be successful when it comes to minimizing drought conditions in a given area. This technology could become extremely useful in other parts of the world where climate change and extreme heat temperatures are destroying the environment. 

The United Arab Emirates has reported that they receive about 4 inches of rain every year. The government is hoping that if they regularly use this technology to generate rain, it could help alleviate some of the damage caused by the annual heat waves. 

Scientists create these storms by using drones which hit clouds in the sky with electricity. This electricity then creates large raindrops within the clouds that become heavy, and fall, thus creating a man made rainstorm. 

“It’s moving to think that the rainfall technology I saw today, which is still being developed, may someday support countries in water-scarce environments like the UAE,” Mansoor Abulhoul, Ambassador of the United Arab Emirates to the U.K., said.

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“Of course, our ability to manipulate weather is puny compared to the forces of nature. We are mindful that we have a big role to play, by working with global partners to understand and help prevent the worst effects of climate change.” 

Back in 2017, the researchers were awarded a $1.5 million funding grant for what they refer to as “Rain Enhancement Science.” So far the UAE has invested up to $15 million in creating man-made rainstorms. 

“The water table is sinking drastically in UAE, and the purpose of this is to try to help with rainfall,” University of Reading professor and meteorologist Maarten Ambaum said.

The UAE has become one of the first countries to use this technology, and at least 8 states throughout the US are experimenting with different versions of this technology to combat climate change.

Heat Wave Temps

Heat Waves And Thunderstorms In California Spark Multiple Wildfires

This past Sunday a rare summer thunderstorm in Los Angeles, California brought on an obscene amount of lightning that has now led to several small fires to break out in Northern California, and a huge wildfire that caused hundreds of individuals to evacuate their homes in northern Los Angeles. 

Firefighters are continuing to fight the fire in northern LA which is now burning towards the Angeles National Forest. The forest is known for being extremely dense, thick, and dry, which is the perfect condition for a wildfire to spread and expand to an unfathomable level. More than 4,500 buildings are also currently under threat of burning due to their close vicinity to the forest. 

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Reports claim firefighters are struggling to manage not only the steep, and rugged terrain of the hot forest, but also 15 mph winds and continued lightning, which is pushing the fire even further north. Fire spokesperson Jake Miller recently spoke with the press about what safety measures they currently have in place while they try to contain the fire further. 

“We set up a containment line at the top of the hills so the fire doesn’t spill over to the other side and cause it to spread, but it was obviously difficult given the erratic wind and some other conditions.” 

So far, The Lake Fire has been 12% contained as of Sunday, and has already burned through 28 square miles of dry brush and trees. 33 buildings, including at least a dozen homes, have been completely destroyed. Fire spokesman Tom Ewald claimed that temperatures reached more than 110 degrees Fahrenheit, creating an even more deadly environment for the wildfire to grow and spread. 

The thunderstorms and excessive heat wave only further fueled the now 4 square miles of fire in the foothills above LA. That particular fire was thought to be accidentally started by a homeless individual on Thursday, and is currently only 3% contained due to the environmental conditions in LA right now. 

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A majority of the state saw triple-digit temperatures this past weekend, which when combined with the heat and smoke of the fires created an atmosphere of increased ozone pollution; which has apparently now reached levels not seen in a decade for some areas. This also means that air quality may reach very unhealthy levels in many regions of Southern California specifically, where ozone pollution is already a major problem. 

The tropical storms in Northern California knocked out power for a majority of the San Francisco Bay Area with wind speeds up to 75 miles per hour, according to the National Weather Service. Daniel Swain, a climate scientist, claimed that the conditions have become extremely deadly in parts of California, creating an environment of complete natural destruction. 

“This is probably the most widespread and violent summer thunderstorm event in memory for the Bay Area, and it’s also one of the hottest nights in years.”

A massive fire cloud, scientifically known as a pyrocumulonimbus, formed over a fire that was started east of the town of Loyalton, near the California-Nevada border. This cloud collided with the intense winds of the storm to create a “tornado of fire,” which burned through 45 square miles of land and triggered evacuation orders all along State Route 395. 

None of the fires have been fully contained as of Monday morning, and strong winds and storm patterns continue to threaten firefighters’ efforts to stop the spread.