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Meteorologists warn region is in for dangerously hot summer: 'Our computer models are in good agreement'

Heatwaves in this region are dangerous to even people who live there and know they are coming.

Heatwaves in this region are dangerous to even people who live there and know they are coming.

Photo Credit: iStock

Europe is the fastest-warming continent on Earth, endangering residents across its roughly 50 countries. And this summer, temperatures are set to soar.

What's happening?

Meteorologists are predicting an especially scorching summer in Europe, as the New York Times reported in late May. One such meteorologist is Dr. Todd Crawford, who works for Atmospheric G2, a company in Manchester, New Hampshire, that provides weather forecasts and historical data for sites around the globe. 

"Our computer models are in good agreement that it's going to be another unusually hot summer, especially during late July through August," said Crawford, the company's vice president of meteorology, per the Times.

A report released this April by the World Meteorological Organization and the Copernicus Climate Change Service states: "Since the 1980s, Europe has been warming twice as fast as the global average, becoming the fastest-warming continent on Earth."

The heat forecast for this summer will impact not only Europe's residents but also the millions of tourists expected to visit the region.

Why is Europe's hot summer forecast important?

A study on a heat wave that hit Europe in the summer of 2022 found that heat may have killed more than 70,000 people for the year. Copernicus reported that in 2023, there was a record number of days with "extreme heat stress."

The World Meteorological Organization said in a press release: "Heat-related mortality has increased by around 30% in the past 20 years, and heat-related deaths are estimated to have increased in 94% of the European regions monitored."

Since 1980, summers have warmed by about 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit in most of Europe, according to a paper published by Nature. That hasn't stopped tourists from traveling to the region. There have recently been record levels of Americans traveling to Europe. A recent survey says trips to Europe increased by 55% last year.

Heat waves in Europe are dangerous to even people who live there and know they are coming. But extreme heat can be more likely to catch tourists off guard, making it even more deadly for travelers there.

What's being done about the summer heat?

Heat is the most deadly of all weather-related disasters, and a warming planet is making it worse. The buildup of heat-trapping gases has contributed to May being the 12th consecutive month with record-high global temperatures.

Luckily, new technological breakthroughs are announced almost weekly that could help keep our planet cooler. And new regulations designed to limit toxic gases from entering our atmosphere are also showing signs of success. But more needs to be done.

Together, though, we can have an impact. Something as simple as changing the way we plan our vacations can help.

But perhaps the biggest thing we can do is remove dirty energy from our lives. If you can't afford rooftop solar panels or live in a shady area, check out a community solar subscription that can cut your bills and your environmental impact.

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