July 20, 2023: On Wednesday, the European Union sent firefighters to support Greece fight wildfires steaming for a third day. At the same time, authorities warned of another extraordinary heat wave.
Scorching heat continues to grab southern Europe, with temperatures in Spain, France, and Italy climbing to record highs.
Italy’s capital Rome registered its hottest day ever on Tuesday, as temperatures in the city center rose to a staggering 41.8 degrees Celsius, surpassing the previous record of 40.7 degrees Celsius registered in June last year.
Mercury levels in Girona in Spain’s Catalonia region smashed a record 45 degrees Celsius, while temperatures in Verdun in northeast France reached 40.6 degrees Celsius for the first time.
Europe’s hottest-ever recorded temperature is believed to have been 48.8 degrees Celsius, logged near the ancient city of Syracuse on the coast of Sicily in August 2021.
The World Meteorological Organization considers this record could soon be broken as the heat wave is predicted to intensify.
It comes soon after the planet recorded its hottest day since records began for the third time in just four days earlier this month, while the U.S. and China saw temperatures rise above 50 degrees Celsius in recent days.
Climate scientists state that the recent spate of global heat records underlines the increasing urgency to slash greenhouse gas emissions as fast and deeply as possible.