August 8, 2022

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Heat waves overlap: Asia, Europe and the Americas swell

Heat waves overlap: Asia, Europe and the Americas swell

Spain has already entered its third heat wave of the year. There was already one in June, and a heat wave in the first half of July lasted ten days and killed more than 700 people. That heat wave eventually moved us. Temperatures in Spain are again above 40 degrees. There are places where it won’t even get cold this week. According to some, there is no question of a third heat wave, but the heat wave that started on July 9 is still going on.

Sea water is 30 degrees

Even sea water is already 1 to 2 degrees warmer than usual. It may be good for swimmers, but it can be disastrous for marine life. Water temperatures of 30 degrees have already been measured in some places. Across southern Europe, it oscillates. And it’s getting hot here too.

On the other side of the Atlantic, the southern United States has had a week of dangerous heat. Now the heat is moving towards the northeast giving record temperatures there. It affects more than 100 million Americans in 28 states. In many cities, the mercury soars above 38 degrees. “Stay out of the sun, drink plenty of fluids and keep an eye on your neighbors and pets,” warns the Washington mayor.

Air conditioning

“It was much hotter than normal in cities in Texas and Arizona,” says RTL Nieuws reporter Sophie van der Meer, “but they are adjusting to higher temperatures. Here in New York it’s so low, people with low incomes have no air. Fortunately, many buildings have air conditioning. There is, you can go there. The swimming pools are also open longer so people can cool off there.”

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But all those air conditioners create a new problem. “Energy companies are asking people to turn down the air conditioning a little, otherwise the electricity network will be overloaded and the power will go out. This has already happened in the Queens district this week,” says Sophie van der Meer.

Meteorologists: More heat for a long time

“They are becoming more common and increasingly common worldwide at the same time,” says Martijn Dorestein, a meteorologist at Buenrader. “It’s almost annoying to say it again, but of course it’s related to warmer weather. We’ll have more heat waves in the coming years.”

And those heat waves also last longer and are more intense. “Look at Spain,” he said, “it’s been hot there for a long time now. And it’s getting hotter with us. We’ve never thought of 40 degrees here before, and we’ve almost had it twice now.”

In China, too, says Roland Schmitt, a reporter from Shanghai, it’s unsustainable on the outside. “You’ve got to be really careful. Be outside for an hour and then take a break and go in. Drink a lot or it’s not responsible.”

The government in China prohibits even manual labor outside. For example, construction workers are required to stop work temporarily, but not everyone adheres to this. Roland Schmidt: “I was in the suburbs today and around two o’clock in the afternoon I saw people carrying heavy tiles. I thought: that can’t be right.”

Testers at work

Those still working outside are corona testers. They must continue to work despite the heat: every resident must be tested every two days. “The testers are completely covered in protective clothing, wearing masks, and I’ve seen many leave this week.” You can see how hard their work is in this video:

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Summer in Shanghai is always hot. But this year it’s serious. Schmidt: “I don’t remember it going over 40 degrees very often in recent years. Everybody has air conditioning here. So when you leave your house with air conditioning, you get in your car with air conditioning and you go. Parking garage. Shopping center with air conditioning. . It was also very busy today.”

Shanghainese people used to leave the city in the summer, but because of Corona that is no longer possible. The city is no longer under lockdown, but other provinces are making requests for people to be quarantined from Shanghai, and no one wants to be quarantined for a week.