Heat waves are becoming more intense because of the rise in global temperature, which has devastating effects on landscapes, ecosystems and even the human body.
A graphic created by Professor Ed Hawkins, a climate scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Science at Reading University, shows all the changes in global temperature since 1850.
It is made up of billions of individual measurements of a thermometer made by tens of thousands of people. Each of the 172 colored stripes signifies one year.
After 1970, there is a “rapid change in color” from oranges to dark reds “highlighting how quickly things have changed over the last 40 or 50 years,” Hawkins previously told CNN.
“The consequences in a warmer world are more extreme heat waves. As the temperatures increase, heat waves get hotter and in many regions that will be increase risk of wildfires, especially for areas getting dryer,” Hawkins said.
Raging wildfires have scorched thousands of hectares of forest in France and Spain, while Britain is set to face its hottest day on record amid a searing heat wave on Monday.
Sweltering temperatures in Portugal this week have exacerbated a drought that started before the heat wave, according to data from the national meteorological institute. About 96% of the mainland was already suffering severe or extreme drought at the end of June.
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