The Green Brief: Europe’s heatwave hell

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EURACTIV is an independent pan-European media network specialised in EU affairs, established in 1999. It sparks and nourishes policy debates among stakeholders, including government, business and civil society. It covers policy processes upstream of decisions, summarising the issues without taking sides.

Heatwaves in Europe are worsening, with records being broken at an alarming rate. While multiple factors drive extreme weather, it’s increasingly hard to separate these outlier events from the pattern of our shifting climate.

As well as increasing in intensity, heatwaves are more prolonged and are occurring earlier in the year Doctor Mariam Zachariah, a research associate at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change, told EURACTIV, adding that this is a trend that is likely to continue.

The heatwaves currently enveloping Europe are the eery silence after the canary stops singing in the coal mine. They show that climate change is a problem of the present, not the future – and that Europe is woefully unprepared to deal with the consequences of decades of mass extraction of fossil fuels.

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By Frédéric Simon, Kira Taylor, Nikolaus J. Kurmayer and Valentina Romano

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