What are the reasons of persistent extreme heat in Europe?

In July 2022, Poland and other parts of East Europe are suffering due to persistent extreme heat. Earlier, France recorded the hottest May in history. Temperatures across Europe are climbing again. Wildfires are also catching due to heat in many countries, and the continent is also suffering due to lengthy drought.

In Europe, heat waves are increasing at a faster rate as compared to other part of World, because of:

  1. Global warming– Global warming is playing a critical role persistent extreme heat in Europe. Due to global warming, temperatures have reached 1.1 degrees Celsius higher, as compared to temperature in 19th
  2. Circulation of atmosphere and the ocean– Circulation of atmosphere and ocean is another factor, adding to heat waves in Europe. Present high temperatures in England and Wales were caused in parts because, region of upper-level low-pressure air has been blocked off the coast of Portugal. This phenomenon of blockade is called as “cut-off low”, as it got cut off from a river of westerly winds. As a result of this, Low-pressure zones have been created over Europe, which is pulling hot air toward them from North Africa.
  3. Changes in the jet stream– According to researchers, many heat waves in Europe occurs when jet stream temporarily split in two. It leaves an area of weak winds and high pressure between both the branches of jet stream. This is a favourable condition for extreme heat to build-up. Current heatwaves in Europe can be linked to this reason, because double jet has been there over Europe for past two weeks.
  4. Warming in the Arctic– Arctic is warming at a faster rate. Due to this, temperature differential between Arctic and equator is decreasing. Temperature difference is decreasing the summertime winds, which in lastly affecting the weather systems and making it to linger for longer.
  5. Changes in Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation– It might have affected Europe’s climate.

Period of extreme heat waves in Europe is drying out the soil. When there is moisture in soil, sun’s energy is used in water evaporation, which generates some cooling effect. However, one heat wave dries almost all the soil moisture. As a result, sun’s energy starts penetrating the surface, which gets added to the heat.




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