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Status: 07/19/2022 8:23 p.m.

Europe is experiencing an unprecedented heat wave in some countries. According to the head of the World Meteorological Organization, this is only the beginning of what awaits us for the decades to come.

By Kathrin Hondl, ARD Studio Geneva

As WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas held a press conference on the heatwave in Geneva, a new record was reported in London: 40.2 degrees – the highest temperature ever measured in the UK.

“The UK heat record has been broken,” said Petteri Taalas. “In Sicily we had 48.8 degrees last summer, which has not yet been exceeded.”

But it’s probably only a matter of time before the 2021 Sicilian summer European heat record is broken. Because heat waves like the one we are currently experiencing will be more and more frequent. And they will only get worse, says the secretary general of the World Meteorological Organization.

“The current temperatures will seem mild to us”

“The current trend will continue until at least 2060, regardless of the success of our climate protection efforts. We will have to get used to this type of weather. And the current temperatures will seem mild to us for decades to come.”

The WMO and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) have warned for many years that extreme weather events such as the current heat wave are becoming more frequent due to climate change causing human.

“When we founded the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change in the 1980s, many thought it was purely theoretical, most people didn’t believe our scenarios,” says Petteri Taalas. Now the WMO boss is hoping the current heat wave will be a wake-up call for many governments and voters in democracies.

Far from fossil fuels

The Paris climate agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees cannot be achieved with current climate protection measures, Taalas stressed. As the world heads towards 2.5 degrees of global warming, emissions of climate-damaging greenhouse gases must be reduced urgently.

Even if European states return to coal for energy production: To be less dependent on Russian gas, according to the boss of the OMM, there is an opportunity to get rid of fossil fuels in the next ten years. But now it has to be done quickly.

We need to hurry away from coal, oil and gas energy. This is necessary for successful climate protection.

More heat waves this summer?

And success would mean the negative trend towards increasingly hotter heat waves in the 2060s could be slowed. Experts from the World Meteorological Organization expect the current heat wave in Europe to end in the middle of next week.

And it may not have been the last hot phase of this summer either, according to climatologist Robert Stefanski in Geneva. “We already had a heat wave in June, we’re only halfway through July, let’s see what else happens in the next weeks of summer.”

WMO: More and more heat waves until at least 2060

Kathrin Hondl, ARD Geneva, July 19, 2022 7:39 p.m.

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Source www.tagesschau.de

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