8 facts that prove Europe's record heatwave is the new normal
By Matt Reynolds
Western Europe is facing its worst heatwave in sixteen years, with temperatures across France, Spain, Italy and Germany predicted to exceed more than 40 degrees Celsius.
1. The last four years were the warmest on record
Global average temperatures for the past four years have been higher than any other year on record. The years 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018 were all warmer than any year since 1850 – the year when reliable temperature records are generally considered to have begun.
2. Heatwaves are going to become much more common
Extremely hot summers are projected to become increasingly common over the next few decades. A 2015 study published in the scientific journal Nature Climate Change found that extreme weather events that would have occurred only twice a century in the 2000s are now expected to happen twice every decade.
3. June 2019 has smashed temperature records across Europe
Summer has barely gotten underway and temperature records are already tumbling across the continent. On Wednesday, June 26, the average temperature across France reached a high of 34.9 degrees, beating the previous record for the hottest June day which was 34.3 degrees in 1952.
4. Deaths from heatwaves are projected to climb steeply
The June 2019 heatwave has already reportedly claimed three lives in France, after people jumping into cold water to cool off struggled to adjust to the dramatically different temperatures. But people who already live in warm regions are even more vulnerable to extreme weather events.
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