A dangerous heatwave has hit parts of Europe with officials claiming that thousands of lives could be at risk this week.
Temperatures may hit record levels in 15 different regions as of Monday and can continue into Tuesday. Record temperatures are expected in the U.K., France, Greece, and Spain.
Triple-digit temperatures are expected to hit major cities. Athens is expected to see temperatures reach 100 degrees Fahrenheit this week. London is forecasted to reach 102 degrees on Tuesday. Madrid can see a high of 105 degrees this week. Paris is forecasted to reach 106 degrees on Tuesday.
Wildfires have blazed through France, Spain, Portugal, and Greece over the past week.
The U.K. Health Security Agency announced its first “level 4” heat warning, which is the highest possible. The heatwave has been described as a “national emergency.” Elderly people in the U.K. could face life-threatening conditions. Only about 3% of British homes have air conditioning.
“The extreme heat we are forecasting right now is absolutely unprecedented,” Met Office boss Penny Endersby said in a rare public service broadcast last week.
“Here in the U.K., we are used to treating a hot spell as a chance to go and play in the sun — this is not that sort of weather. Our lifestyles and infrastructure are not adapted to what is coming,” Endersby said.
The heatwave has drawn renewed efforts to adequately address climate change.
“The consequences in a warmer world are more extreme heat waves. As the temperatures increase, heat waves get hotter and in many regions that will be an increased risk of wildfires, especially for areas getting dryer,” Professor Ed Hawkins, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Science at Reading University told CNN News.
Dr. Nikos Christidis, the Met Office’s climate attribution scientist, said in a statement that “climate change has already influenced the likelihood of temperature extremes in the U.K.” and that such severe heat is 10 times more likely due to climate change.
WATCH: Man miraculously escapes, runs for his life when wildfire engulfs tractor in western Spain. He survived but suffered serious injuries pic.twitter.com/yWHBfx41RE
— BNO News (@BNONews) July 18, 2022
Firefighters battled to contain raging wildfires across tinder-dry countryside in Spain, Portugal and France, amid a heatwave sweeping through southern Europe https://t.co/POCdGBJVU3 pic.twitter.com/vatCw6qni4
— Reuters (@Reuters) July 18, 2022
There are dozens of wildfires across Europe, including France and Spain. They are driven by a heat wave that has gripped parts of the continent and threatens to bring record-breaking temperatures to Britain early next week. https://t.co/wvCSz99p0v pic.twitter.com/Ig8ZuQKB5w
— The New York Times (@nytimes) July 18, 2022
Heatwave fuels wildfires in Portugal, France and Spainhttps://t.co/PRzxmEKU6F pic.twitter.com/stwEVZM7jj
— BBC News (World) (@BBCWorld) July 15, 2022