Global heat puts Greece on standby

Despite relatively cool June, as the planet simmered, warm air masses expected to arrive soon

Global heat puts Greece on standby

Despite the fact that Greece experienced a relatively mild June, the high temperatures recorded internationally and in Europe are raising concerns. “When the whole planet is warming up, sooner or later the circulation of systems will change and the warm air masses will reach Greece. There can be no complacency,” Kostas Lagouvardos, director of research at the National Observatory of Athens and scientific director of the website, told Kathimerini.

Concern among Greek and European meteorologists was also triggered by the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s announcement that July 4 was the hottest day in history, which coincided with European estimates that this June was the hottest worldwide since 1979.

The average June 2023 temperature in Europe was 0.73 degrees Celsius above 1991-2020 levels. On a global basis, the upward deviation was 0.53C. “In fact, England, Ireland, Belgium and the Netherlands recorded the warmest June on record,” said Lagouvardos. “Of concern is the fact that the temperature record tends to reach or exceed 1.5C above the pre-industrial levels of the 19th century, which is the target limit set by the Paris Agreement. If this stabilizes on an annual basis, things will be very bad,” he added. Temperatures this year, however, are expected to rise due to the El Nino phenomenon, which occurs every five to six years and has this effect on temperatures.

Interestingly, the heat in June in Western and Northern Europe was not present in the southern Balkans, Greece, Turkey and western Russia, where temperatures were below normal, continuing the different pattern of these regions in April and May. In Greece in particular, the average daily maximum temperatures in June were below the 2010-19 average.

“In recent months in Greece we have had colder-than-normal weather. The same happened last summer, when Western Europe experienced a very hot summer, with many heatwaves and droughts,” he said, noting however that these things come and go. “In 2021 we had heatwaves and Western Europe had more normal weather,” he stressed, arguing that the overall trend is that temperatures are rising.

Meanwhile, the relative cool is coming to an end in Greece, which will enter hottest period of this summer from Tuesday. More specifically, heatwave conditions are expected, with temperatures expected to reach up to 40C in some areas. The heatwave is expected to last for about a week.

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