Climate Change

Europe, Asia witnessed record-breaking temperatures last week

At least 4,300 people were displaced due to flashfloods in south-west and north-west China July 16, 2022

By Kiran Pandey
Published: Monday 25 July 2022
A resident walks past a fountain in China. Photo: China Xinhua news / Twitter
A resident walks past a fountain in China. Photo: China Xinhua news / Twitter A resident walks past a fountain in China. Photo: China Xinhua news / Twitter

Record-breaking temperatures swept through at least five continents last week, according to media and government reports. Temperatures soared to above 40 degrees Celsius in various parts of Europe, North Africa and Asia.

Taiwan July 22, 2022 broke again the record of its hottest temperature in history with an exceptional 41.4°C at Zhuoxi (Hualien County). Hong Kong had its hottest July day on records with 38.1°C at Sheng Shui, according to the Hong Kong Observatory. It is the highest for a July day since records began in 1884.

At least 4,300 people were displaced due to flash floods in south-west and north-west China July 16, 2022. The average number of high temperature days of China as of July 12, 2022, was 5.3 days. This accounts to 2.4 days more than that in normal years, according to Beijing Climate Centre (BCC).

China’s biggest city, Shanghai recorded a temperature of 40.6°C July 14, 2022. Lingshou, Gaocheng, Zhengding in Hebei and Yanjin in Yunnan province crossed over 44°C, said China Meteorological Administration in its statement, July 18, 2022.

Shanghai, Chongqing and Hangzhou issued red alerts, last week in anticipation of the severe heat waves.

Europe witnessed its historic hot day in Sweden as the country reported its highest temperatures since 1947.

For the Swedish province of Östergötland, a new heat record was set at 37°C in Härsnäs. This surpassed the record set up almost 47 years ago.

Switzerland too is on the list of countries which broke their record. The country recorded its warmest night at 37.2°C in Geneva, according to forecasts from the official meteorological service, MeteoSwiss.

These heat waves in the continent follow after Europe recorded its second-hottest day in June this year. 2021 was the fifth warmest year on record, according to Copernicus, European Union’s earth observation programme.

“This shows climate change is real. It is also a warning for the future as the region is warming at a faster rate than rest of the world,” Samantha Burgess, deputy director for climate change services at the european earth observation program, said at UN Climate Change Conference, 2021.

France is currently experiencing its 45th intense heat wave since 1947. Several absolute heat records were broken this week, acknowledged Meteo France, July 22, 2022.

In US, heat warnings and advisories have been issued for 28 states including California July 20, 2022.

US President Joe Biden unveiled a new plan to push billions of dollars to US cities and states to help them cope better with extreme heat

“100 million Americans are under heat alert — 100 million Americans.  Ninety communities across America set records for high temperatures just this year, including here in New England as we speak,” said Biden in his statement, July 20, 2022

Around 9,200 hectares of forests in Morocco were destroyed by wildfires, July 19, 2022. This has been linked to extreme temperature (45°C).

These heat waves in Europe, Asia and the United States are responsible for the recent extreme wildfires and drought. In Latin America, Northern Argentina and Paraguay are witnessing another abnormal winter heat waves. Maximum temperatures will be 36-39°C in Paraguay for several days in a row now. With this, July is expected to be abnormally warmer after cold May-June as per the forecasts

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