Those across the Atlantic face scorching temperatures this week as a heat wave engulfs much of western Europe. Many countries are expected to experience record highs on Monday and Tuesday and as a result thousands of deaths are possible.
As Policy Note, the European heatwave is brought to the continent by a pocket of extremely hot, high-pressure air that is slowly rising from North Africa. This pocket of air could cause record temperatures in several European countries.
How bad should things get? As USA today reports, the UK could see temperatures as high as 104º F. That’s an all-time record. Spain and Portugal could see highs of 120°F. A simple check of any weather app also shows that people in Germany and Italy could also see highs near 100°F this week. .
But to really put the magnitude of the heat wave in Europe into perspective, you just need to look at any interactive weather map. We’ve collected a few of them here:
See those massive bands of dark purple? This is where temperatures of over 100ºF are expected this week.
And, of course, many people on Twitter are pointing out that we can only expect to see more dramatic heat waves across the globe as human-caused climate change continues to alter weather patterns everywhere.
Today and tomorrow will be one of the worst, if not the worst heat waves in modern Western European history.
If ever you can feel the direct impacts of human-induced climate change, it’s now. pic.twitter.com/MQw8zbn60l
— Mika Rantanen (@mikarantane) July 18, 2022
Southern England features the 40C gun. The whole of Western Europe is in unprecedented heat wave conditions. The agriculture that sustains modern civilization depends on certain climatic conditions – that’s not it. pic.twitter.com/7vddbETEeM
— Peter Dynes (@PGDynes) July 15, 2022
This year, countries must keep their promise to increase the ambition of their national climate plans and ke… pic.twitter.com/9KpeDBsmMO
— Luis De Pau (@luisdepau) July 18, 2022