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Europe Witnesses its Hottest Summer on Record

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Europe has witnessed its hottest summer on record this year as temperatures in the Mediterranean smashed records by large margins.

The European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service said that Europe has witnessed extreme weather events over recent months.

The year 2020 was also the hottest on record for Europe overall.

Meanwhile, the southern region of the continent has reported record levels of rain that triggered deadly floods in Germany and Belgium. Heatwaves has also contributed to wildfires.

Unprecedented Temperature

The average temperature from the start of June until the end of August was around 0.1 degrees Celsius warmer than the previous hottest summers in 2010 and 2018.

But it was a whole 1 degree C (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) above the 1991-2020 average, reflecting the longer-term trend of human-caused global warming.

Aided by heat and strong wind, wildfires break out across southern Europe on Monday while northern countries clean after a weekend of heavy rain and flooding.

Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsutakis, said firefighters had dealt with about 50 fires in the last 24 hours and that meteorologists warn of another heatwave.

“I want to emphasize that August remains a difficult month. That is why it is important for all of us, all state services, to be on absolute alert.

No casualties were reported. However, fire service officials said carelessness at farms and construction sites was behind several incidents in the region. 

The situation in southern Europe contrasts sharply with the severe rainstorms that struck northern countries from Austria to the UK.

This came following massive flooding in Germany and neighbouring countries the week before.

On Sardinia, an Italian island, French and Greek firefighting planes stepped up to assist local planes across the island. The fire resulted in more than 4,000 hectares of forest burned and more than 350 people evacuated.

Fires broke out near the western town of Erice in Sicily.

 Meanwhile, dozens of people have had to evacuate, firefighters and officials said.

Before being brought under control, over 2,500 hectares were destroyed during the weekend.

In Spain, wildfires have burned across 35,000 hectares this year. But it still far from the 138,000 hectares burned in 2012, which was the worst year of the past decade.

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