Spanish heatwave: Is climate change behind record temperature in Europe?

Spanish heatwave: Is climate change behind record temperature in Europe?

Sundown on the Spanish island of Gran Canaria on April 26


A scorching and unseasonable heatwave hit southern Spain, Portugal and Morocco this week, with temperatures approaching 40°C (104°F) in some areas. The new climate has put additional climatic stresses in Southern Europe, which is already underneath extreme drought. threatens to raise food prices. Here is what we learn about why record-breaking warmth is going on and the way it could also be linked to local weather change.

By which nations have been the information damaged?

On April 27, Spain recorded its highest-ever April temperature at Cordoba airport in southern Spain, reaching 38.8°C (101.8°F) in line with the Spanish climate service. This broke the earlier report of 37.4°C (99.3°F) set in Murcia in April 2011.

Portugal additionally recorded the best ever April temperature of 36.9°C (98.4°F) within the nation’s central Peloponnese on the identical day, whereas temperatures in Marrakech, Morocco reached a report 41.3°C (106°F). .

In line with the UK Met Workplace, these temperatures are 10 to fifteen°C above the seasonal common.

Why is that this taking place?

The heatwave is pushed by a slow-moving high-pressure system that, together with a highly regarded air mass touring from North Africa to Southern Europe, suppresses rain and retains the sky clear, permitting warmth to construct up.

The continued drought in these nations can be more likely to play a task. Moist soils present a cooling impact by evaporating the water they include. If the soils are dry, little or no of the photo voltaic vitality is used for evaporation and transpiration, leaving extra photo voltaic radiation to build up as floor warming.

Eric Fisher At ETH Zurich in Switzerland, it says dry soils can enhance the severity of a heatwave by 2 to three°C. “Drought is principally an amplifier of the heatwave,” he says. Nevertheless, he notes that it is uncommon to see this impact so early within the yr. “Sometimes presently of yr, even in southern Europe, the soils nonetheless have moisture,” he says.

What’s the influence of local weather change?

Fischer says any heatwave at the moment is made extra extreme due to the background price of warming of local weather change. However the quantity of record-breaking extreme warmth occasions seen lately ought to be alarming. Certainly, the areas of the world at present experiencing excessive warmth usually are not simply Southern Europe and North Africa. Southeast Asia has additionally been hit by excessive warmth in latest weeks, with report temperatures reaching 45°C (113°F) earlier this month at monitoring stations in Thailand, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam. “Data should be very uncommon lately,” Fischer says. “However they happen in all places.”

There may be some new proof to recommend that chilly sea floor temperatures within the North Atlantic Ocean could have an effect on the motion of the jet stream and ocean currents, affecting the formation of maximum warmth in Europe.

Does that imply will probably be sizzling in the summertime too?

The present heatwave provides meteorologists little perception into what’s going to occur throughout summer season within the northern hemisphere. Nevertheless, if drought continues, Europe and North Africa could also be extra vulnerable to excessive warmth if a excessive strain system hits later this yr. “It is too early to say what these excessive spring temperatures will imply for summer season values,” mentioned Paul Hutcheon of the Met Workplace’s International Steerage Unit. blog post earlier this week. “However dry floor will imply extra heatwave situations have the potential to result in even increased temperatures later within the yr.”

Why is it nonetheless chilly within the UK and Northern Europe?

A lot of northern and jap Europe, together with the UK, was under common temperatures this week, in distinction to sweltering temperatures in southern Europe.

A wave of jet streams brings heat air to southwestern Europe, whereas chilly air is drawn from the Arctic over the UK and northern Europe. However forecasters anticipate the chilly to finish within the subsequent few days, and by subsequent week, temperatures in a lot of the UK ought to strategy common.


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