ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Tourists in central Athens sought refuge from the scorching heat under mist machines, while animals in Madrid’s zoo were offered fruit popsicles. The region of Mediterranean Europe is currently experiencing a severe heat wave, with temperatures projected to rise even higher this weekend.
A high-pressure system, named Cerberus after the three-headed dog in Greek mythology, is responsible for the extreme weather conditions. This system originated from North Africa and has brought sweltering temperatures to parts of Southern Europe.
In Greece, working hours have been adjusted for the public sector and many businesses to avoid the hottest part of the day. Air-conditioned areas are also being made available to the public. Despite these efforts, tourists like 24-year-old Balint Jolan from Hungary find the heat challenging. Jolan compared the heat to that of Africa and expressed his difficulties coping with it.
The European Space Agency is closely tracking Cerberus and has warned that northern European countries will also experience the heat wave.
According to the agency, Italy, Spain, France, Germany, and Poland are all facing extreme temperatures, with Sicily and Sardinia expecting to reach a scorching 48 degrees Celsius (118.4 degrees F), potentially breaking records for the hottest temperatures ever recorded in Europe.
In other news, the Arctic is also feeling the impacts of heat, as Norwegian meteorologists reported a record high temperature of 28.8 degrees Celsius (83.8 degrees F) at Slettness Fyr on the northern tip of Norway. This surpasses the previous record set in July 1964.
The United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization declared that global temperatures recorded in early July were among the hottest on record.
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Heatwave Impacts Europe: Animals Seek Relief, Cities Take Action
As Spain’s general election approaches, concerns are rising about how the high temperatures will impact voter turnout. Meanwhile, Madrid’s Zoo is taking measures to keep its animals cool amidst the sweltering heat. Zookeepers are treating pandas and bears to refreshing watermelon popsicles, while seals enjoy frozen sardines and lions feast on frozen buckets of meat.
The situation becomes even more challenging in neighboring Turkey, where emergency services are currently grappling with both fires and floods. In the northern Black Sea coast, flooding has claimed three lives. However, in the Milas region of the southwest, 600 firefighters have managed to contain a wildfire with the aid of 26 water-dropping planes and helicopters.
Deputy Agriculture Minister Veysel Tiryaki expressed his concern, stating, “While there are heat and fires on one side of the country, there are floods and deluges on the other. In our country as well as around the world, we are struggling with climate change.”