Summer in Europe has arrived quite aggressively in 2022. The heat wave that started in southern Europe brought fires and destruction and is now heading towards Great Britain.

Temperatures exceed 40ºC and the population suffers from the lack of structure. The EU has already declared a state of emergency and recognizes that more than half of the territory of member states is at risk of fire. Schools and transport services were closed in some countries.

The path of the flames

This has been Europe’s hottest summer in 10 years, and the heat wave has caused fires in several parts of the continent. The high temperatures and the lack of rain have spread the heat throughout the territory. Many lives have already been lost, as well as homes and land.

It is estimated that more than 500 lives have already been lost in the fires that spread from Portugal towards the United Kingdom in the European summer of 2022.

In Spain alone, more than 70,000 hectares have already been burned. Last month, a massive fire wiped out a total of 30,000 hectares, and the country is so far the most affected by the heat waves.

In Portugal, more than a thousand firefighters work to contain the fires, which are mainly concentrated in the northern region. Cars and even aircraft are helping to put out the flames, and bodies have already been found charred, pointing to an attempt by civilians to flee.

In France, the damage already totals more than 14,000 hectares and is concentrated in the Gironde region. A red alert has already been issued in the country and more than 14,000 people have been evacuated. Italy has not yet suffered from the fires but is already feeling the rise in temperatures.

The heat wave that hit Portugal, Spain and France hard starts to move and Germany and Belgium are already preparing for the inevitable. In these countries too, the rise in temperatures and vertiginous drought are already being felt.

The UK, however, is the surprise of the moment. Thermometers show 40ºC and this is a temperature 10 times higher than expected for the time. At Luton Airport, flights were interrupted as the high temperatures literally melted the runway. The failure posed a danger to flights.

The heat wave was considered a national emergency in Britain, and children and workers were told to stay in their homes.

Human influence

As if the tragedy that high temperatures have caused were not enough, the certainty that experts have is that this reality is a direct consequence of human intervention. The constant burning of fossil fuels and other factors have been determinant for the increase in temperatures.

The so-called greenhouse effect was already known to humanity, but it seems that this summer the consequences are proving to be catastrophic in Europe.

It is believed that high temperatures, especially in the UK, are a direct consequence of human action. It is estimated that the 40ºC mark in the country is about ten times higher than it would be under natural conditions.

It certainly hasn’t been an easy year for Europe. After the oil and gas energy resource crisis, Europe is now facing the harsh reality that the raw burning of fossil fuels causes for the ecosystem.

The replacement of this dynamic through decarbonization and transformation projects for the transition to Green Europe are measures that are already being implemented little by little. 

However, with this sequence of harmful events resulting from the system created for energy generation and logistics, it is likely that the government will invest more incisively in this issue in the coming months. Especially to prepare for winter. 

Germany and the Czech Republic have already signed a cooperation agreement for the implementation of renewable energy sources. The measure had as its biggest impetus the possible interruption of gas supplies by Russia. However, every day the minimization of the greenhouse effect is more immediate.

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