The hottest temperature ever recorded in Europe, 48.8C (119.85F), was measured at a monitoring station in Syracuse, Sicily, on Wednesday (to be verified by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO)).
Prof Ilan Kelman, Professor of Disasters and Health, University College London, said:
“Sicily’s temperature and the generally increasing hot temperatures are exactly what has been projected due to human-caused climate change. When such temperatures persist, in combination with humidity, we expect to see large numbers of deaths. This weather will impede outdoor work such as agriculture and construction, impacting key industries and supplies. Even those who can afford 24/7 indoor cooling are vulnerable, since power outages are likely as more people turn to artificial cooling. Heat-humidity has one of the greatest immediate climate change impacts on health and we are seeing it now.”
Prof Ilan Kelman: “No interests to declare.”