Monday, August 06, 2018

Scorching Summer in Europe Signals Long-Term Climate Changes - NY Times

People trying to cool down in the Trocadero Fountain in front of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. (Credit: Ludovic Marin/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images) Click to Enlarge.
In Northern Europe this summer feels like a modern-day version of the biblical plagues.  Cows are dying of thirst in Switzerland, fires are gobbling up timber in Sweden, the majestic Dachstein glacier is melting in Austria.

In London stores are running out of fans and air-conditioners.  In Greenland an iceberg may break off a piece so large that it could trigger a tsunami that destroys settlements on shore.  Last week, Sweden’s highest peak, Kebnekaise mountain, no longer was in first place after its glacier tip melted.

Southern Europe is even hotter.  Temperatures in Spain and Portugal were expected to reach 105-110 degrees Fahrenheit this weekend.  On Saturday, several places in Portugal experienced record highs, and over the past week, two people have died in Spain from the high temperatures, and a third in Portugal.

But in the northernmost latitudes, where the climate is warming faster than the global average, temperatures have been the most extreme, according to a study by researchers at Oxford University and the World Weather Attribution network.

By analyzing data from seven weather stations in northern Europe, the researchers found that the closer a community is to the Arctic Circle, the more this summer’s heat stood out in the temperature record.  A number of cities and towns in Norway, Sweden, and Finland hit all-time highs this summer, with towns as far north as the Arctic Circle recording nearly 90-degree temperatures.

Read more at Scorching Summer in Europe Signals Long-Term Climate Changes

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