Sicily registers apparently highest temperature ever recorded in Europe at 48.8 ° C

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Sicily registers apparently highest temperature ever recorded in Europe at 48.8 ° C


The highest temperature in European history appears to have been recorded in Italy during a heat wave sweeping the country, with early reports suggesting a high of 48.8 ° C (119.85 ° F).

If accepted by the World Meteorological Organization, it will break the previous European record of 48 ° C (118.4 ° F) set in Athens in 1977. The temperature was measured at a monitoring station in Syracuse, Sicily, and confirmed shortly thereafter by the island’s meteorological authorities. .

The discovery comes amid a fierce heat wave that stretches across the Mediterranean to Tunisia and Algeria. Fires ravaged much of the region for more than a week. The Italian government has declared a state of emergency. Turkey and Greece have also been hit by devastating conflagrations.

Trevor Mitchell, a meteorologist with the UK Met Office, said: “Società Meteorologica Italiana says the temperature report of 48.8 ° C is genuine. However, with potential registrations like these, there is usually a verification process before they can be officially declared.

“Sicily has experienced a heat wave in recent days. The foehn effect [a change from wet, cold conditions on one side of a mountain to warmer, drier conditions on the other] downwind of the mountains west of Syracuse likely contributed to the 48.8 ° C observed there today.

Scott Duncan, a Scottish meteorologist, said more record heat was inevitable. “A dangerous heat wave sweeping across much of North Africa and southern Europe is unfolding. The hotbed will move slightly west and north over the next few days, ”he tweeted.

The extreme heat in Europe is the latest unwelcome record to hit the northern hemisphere this summer. Temperature records have been broken in Canada, the western United States, Finland, Estonia, Turkey and Moscow. Unprecedented floods swept through Germany and parts of China. Record-breaking wildfires are blazing in the Siberian taiga, the world’s largest forest.

In Russia’s Sakha Republic, wildfires have released 208 megatons of carbon this year, almost double the record from last year, according to Mark Parrington, senior researcher at the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service.

Climatologists have long predicted that fossil fuel emissions from vehicles, factories and deforestation would lead to more extreme weather conditions. The latest report from the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, released on Monday, said the link was unequivocal and irreversible, but the worst impacts could be reduced if governments act quickly.

“It’s climate change in 3D. It’s here, ”said Owen Gaffney, analyst at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. “We are radically changing the climate system so that hot areas get hotter, wetlands get wetter. We’re going to have more extremes.

Friederike Otto, associate director of the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford, said extreme weather conditions, and in particular extreme heat, were seen around the world. “Climate change is already here. There are things we can prevent from getting worse, but there are already a lot of changes that are already there. “

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