July 23, 2006
Baby, Its Hot Out There III: The European Heat Wave 2006
According to the U.S. National Climate Data Center, hot weather enveloped much of Europe during mid-July, with temperatures surpassing 32°C (90°F). In Britain on the afternoon of the 19th, temperatures reached 36.3°C (97.3°F) at Charlwood, or the hottest temperature ever recorded in Britain in July." (NCDC link). Temperatures on London's underground reached 47-52C (117-126F) and the drought in the south of England is the worst in a century. For a great graphic, see MSN News European Temperature Map Reuters reported today that the heatwave in France has killed 21 people. Additional heat-related deaths have been reported in Spain, Italy, the Netherlands, and Bosnia. Temperatures in Italy reached over 39C (102F). Temperatures were expected to rise over the weekend and continue well into next week. Madrid forecast; London forecast; Paris forecast Some scientists make the standard disclaimer that no one weather event can be tied to global warming. See Reuter foundation analysis But, on the other hand, Stott reported in Nature on the risk that human induced global warming added to the probability of extreme heat waves such as the European heat wave of 2004 -- it doubled the risk of such events and Stott predicted then that by 2040, over half of the European summers would include heat waves as severe as 2003. Well, 2006 appears likely to break the 2003 record.
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