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Causes of the European Heat Wave

By: Jay Yi

Just like in the US, Europe is having extreme heat waves. The impacts are severe, including dying crops, heat stroke, and massive forest fires. Scientists expect this weather to continue in Europe throughout the summer. And summer is not nearly over yet.

The increase of temperature in Europe is remarkable, even faster than in the western US. Global warming is a big factor in this. In fact, global warming caused temperatures to go up by 2 degrees Fahrenheit compared to the US’s 0.14 Fahrenheit.

There are many reasons that Europe has been experiencing severe heat waves, partially because of global warming, but also because of the atmosphere and the ocean. The first reason is global warming, what it does is it traps carbon in the air, reflecting the sunlight back onto the Earth. The main reason for these heat waves is because a part of a jet stream got cut off from the rest of the stream. This caused the cut-off to circulate in a circle, pushing all the hot air towards Europe.

All of the hot air in Europe dried out the soil, making Europe more susceptible to heat waves. Though this is one main reason, according to the New York Times, “There may be other reasons Europe is seeing more, and more persistent, heat waves, although some of these are currently the subject of debate among scientists.”

In an interview Emily Schuckburgh, a climate scientist, said that Europe’s government currently has a plan to decrease carbon emissions by 2050. The plans are to adjust each industry to cut down on emissions. This government response is to a statement made by many environmental scientists that they needed to take action. If the plan will work, we’ll have to wait and see.

Links used: The underlying reasons for Europe's extreme heat

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