The three nations, Belgium, Germany, and the Netherlands, hit with the second extreme heatwave and recorded highest ever temperatures. Scientists linked the soaring temperatures to the climate emergency which has gripped Europe.
The temperature touched 39.2C(102.5F) at the Gilze-Rijen airbase near Breda on Wednesday afternoon as per the Dutch meteorological service, KNMI, breaking the last highest record of 38.6C set in August 1944.
A new national high ever of 40.5C(0.2C higher than the record) marked in the town of Geilenkirchen located near the Dutch and Belgian borders as per Germany’s national weather service, DWD, but that needed further confirmation.
“The most extreme heat will build from central and northern France into Belgium, the Netherlands, and far western Germany into Thursday,” said Eric Leister of the forecasting group AccuWeather.
On Thursday with 42C temperature, Paris was about to beat its ever recorded high of 40. 4C, set in July 1947 followed by other cities in France that broke previous temperature records on Tuesday, including Bordeaux with 41.2C, said Météo France, the national weather service.
Amsterdam and Brussels are also expected to beat the previous high record. As per the “urban heat island effect” phenomenon, cities become vulnerable in heatwaves. The concrete buildings and roads made of asphalt absorb heat at daytime and release it at night again, preventing the city from cooling.
An “omega block,” a high-pressure pattern that blocks and diverts the jet stream, allowing a mass of hot air to flow up from northern Africa and the Iberian Peninsula has caused the latest heatwave. Last month a similar extreme weather event occurred and registered the hottest June on record.
France recorded an ever highest temperature of 45. 9C in the southern commune of Gallargues-le-Montueux along with the highest ever June temperatures in Andorra, Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Luxembourg, Poland, Luxembourg, and Slovakia recorded.
A World Meteorological Organization spokeswoman, Clare Nullis, said the heatwaves bore the “hallmark of climate change. ” The extreme events were “becoming more frequent, they’re starting earlier, and they’re becoming more intense,” she said. “It’s not a problem that’s going to go away.”
The temperature in France was 4C hotter during 26-28 June heatwave compared to a June heatwave in 1900, as told by a new international programme, World Weather Attribution, helping the scientific community in analysis of the possible climate breakdown impacts on extreme weather events.
The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zürich in a study published earlier this year said, the summer heatwave across northern Europe last year would have been “statistically impossible” unless the human activity-induced climate change drove it.
A code orange, an extreme temperature warning for all of the Netherlands except the offshore Wadden Islands has been issued by KNMI that implemented its “national heat emergency” plan. On the other hand, Belgium had been exceptional to declare a code red warning in the whole country.
A red alert was also declared in the Zaragoza region, Spain, where the worst wildfires in 20 years took place last month. Warning of further forest fires in France and Spain on Thursday and an extreme danger level of threat in Belgium, Germany, Italy, and Portugal declared by the EU’s Copernicus Emergency Management Service.
The red alert was also made applicable in twenty french départements. Agnès Buzyn, the health minister, said: “Nobody is immune in the face of such extreme temperatures. There are risks, even if you are not particularly vulnerable.”
Similar advice was given by the Met Office in Britain that said the highest temperature ever in Faversham, Kent, UK of 38.5C, recorded on August 2003, could be broken on Thursday.
Ground and river water levels fell dramatically for which local authorities in France imposed restrictions on the usage of water in 73 of the 96 départements of the country. “It’s tricky but under control, but we need to be very vigilant,” said the junior environment minister, Emmanuelle Wargon.
The two reactors at Golfech nuclear power plant of the French energy company EDF in the southern Tarn-et-Garonne region was shut down to limit the heating of water used for cooling the reactors.
According to the scientists, there is a close relation between heatwaves and the climate emergency, and in the coming decades, it will likely be many times more.
Since 1500, all the five hottest summers in Europe had occurred in the 21st century in 2002, 2003, 2010, 2016 and 2018, the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research said last month.
The institute said monthly records were currently falling five times as often as they would in a stable climate, adding that this was “a consequence of global warming caused by the increasing greenhouse gases from burning coal, oil and gas. ”