Europe endures year of extreme heat: Copernicus report

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(VOVWORLD) - Last year Europe saw record high temperatures in many areas, causing great loss of life and property, according to the “2023 European State of the Climate” report, jointly released Monday by the Copernicus Climate Change Service (C3S) and the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

Europe endures year of extreme heat: Copernicus report - ảnh 1People cool off by a fountain in Paris, France, to avoid a heatwave with temperatures reaching more than 40 degrees Celsius. (File photo: Xinhua/VNA)

The report shows that at the peak of a heatwave last July, 41% of southern Europe was affected by ‘strong heat stress’, with harmful potential for health impact on the population.

A number of regions in France, Spain, Italy, and Greece experienced more than 10 days with the temperatures higher than 46 degrees Celsius, a heat level that can be life-threatening if no urgent remedial measures are taken.

Extreme heat conditions have increased the number of deaths in Europe. In many provinces of Italy, heat-related deaths rose by about 7% last year, while across Europe, the figure has grown 30% over the past 20 years.

C3S Director Carlo Buontempo said that in 2023, Europe witnessed the highest average temperature in its history.

“Hundreds of thousands of people were affected by extreme climate events in 2023, which have been responsible for large economic losses in the continental area. The cost has been estimated to be at least in the tens of billions of euros. Unfortunately, these figures are unlikely to decrease, at least in the near future,” said Buontempo.

According to the C3S’s report, last year 1.5 million people in Slovenia were affected by floods, Greece suffered the largest forest fire in Europe’s history, with 960 square kilometers of forest destroyed, and glaciers in the Alps have lost around 10% of their volume.