Global Climate News Trending

Claudia Duarte Agostinho vividly recalls the fear she felt during the devastating heatwave and wildfires that swept through Portugal in 2017, claiming over 100 lives. The trauma of those wildfires left her and her siblings anxious about their future. Claudia, aged 24, her brother Martim, aged 20, and her 11-year-old sister Mariana are among a group of six young Portuguese individuals who have taken an unprecedented step by filing a lawsuit against 32 governments, including all European Union member states, the UK, Norway, Russia, Switzerland, and Turkey.

Their lawsuit accuses these nations of inadequately addressing climate change and failing to sufficiently reduce greenhouse gas emissions to meet the Paris Agreement’s goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. This groundbreaking case is the first of its kind to be brought before the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) in Strasbourg, potentially carrying legally-binding implications for the accused governments. The initial hearing took place recently.

These six claimants, ranging in age from 11 to 24, argue that the annual forest fires in Portugal since 2017 are a direct consequence of global warming. They assert that their fundamental human rights, including the right to life, privacy, family life, and freedom from discrimination, are being violated due to governments’ failure to combat climate change adequately. They have already experienced significant impacts, such as extreme temperatures forcing them indoors, restricting their daily lives, and causing health issues like eco-anxiety, allergies, and respiratory conditions. Remarkably, none of them seeks financial compensation.

The case’s proponents argue that the policies of these 32 governments are steering the world toward a catastrophic 3-degree Celsius global warming scenario by the century’s end. They demand urgent action to prevent unbearable heat extremes that threaten their health and well-being. In a 2021 study, the Lancet found widespread climate anxiety and dissatisfaction with government responses among children and young people worldwide, impacting their daily lives.

The governments, in their responses, contest that the claimants haven’t adequately demonstrated that their suffering directly results from climate change or Portuguese wildfires. They argue that there is no immediate evidence of climate change posing a risk to human life or health, and they question the ECHR’s jurisdiction over climate policy.

This David vs. Goliath case could have far-reaching implications, potentially binding these governments to increase climate action by reducing emissions and phasing out fossil fuels. It would also guide domestic courts dealing with climate change-related cases. A verdict is anticipated in nine to 18 months.

For Claudia, this case represents a glimmer of hope in an otherwise uncertain world. She contemplates the possibility of having children one day, but winning this case would mean that people are truly listening, governments are taking action, and a brighter future might be on the horizon.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright

News Trending

In central Greece, rescue efforts are underway to reach hundreds of individuals stranded by severe floods, resulting in 10 casualties.

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis has emphasized the significant challenge Greeks are facing in their battle against the forces of nature.

Following days of heavy rainfall, rivers have overflowed, leading to the submersion of villages and the destruction of homes and bridges.

Residents in the vicinity of Palamas and Karditsa have issued appeals for essential supplies such as food and water.

The plains of Thessaly, after enduring weeks of scorching temperatures and wildfires, have been inundated by a three-day-long storm.

Within a 24-hour period, an astonishing 800mm (31.5 inches) of rain poured down, surpassing the region’s average annual rainfall.

Larissa, a major city with 150,000 inhabitants, is now under threat as the River Pineios has breached its banks in certain suburbs. This city is not only significant in size but also serves as the agricultural hub for the entire country, with nearly a quarter of this year’s crop production being lost.

Satellite imagery has revealed extensive flooding across approximately 73,000 square meters of land in Thessaly.

Many residents in the region are expressing anger towards the Greek authorities, alleging that climate change is being used as an excuse for subpar construction projects. For instance, a bridge that collapsed three years ago due to a cyclone was subsequently rebuilt and is now completely destroyed again, symbolizing government failures for many Greeks.

The city of Larissa has been transformed beyond recognition, with numerous impassable roads, flooded houses at lower elevations, and extensive infrastructure damage caused by the storm’s fury.

The devastation is further compounded by the remnants of the wildfires that Greece has battled throughout the summer, resulting in burnt trees and scorched land.

Xenia, a long-time resident, tearfully watches her home from a distance, which is now mostly submerged. She contemplates the possibility of never returning to her beloved home and having to rent an affordable apartment with her modest salary.

The death toll has climbed to 10, with at least four individuals reported missing, raising concerns that the number may rise as rescuers gain access to more flooded areas.

During visits to the hardest-hit regions, Prime Minister Mitsotakis described the situation as an unprecedented natural phenomenon. He pledged to expedite compensation for those whose homes had been destroyed or damaged.

Although the rain has mostly ceased, floodwaters in certain areas remain at depths exceeding 2 meters (6.5 feet). The coastal city of Volos has been without clean drinking water for four days, prompting residents to collect water from various sources.

The Greek fire brigade has conducted over 1,800 rescues across Greece since Tuesday and continues to search for missing individuals, including an Austrian couple swept away with their honeymoon cabin.

These floods come on the heels of Greece’s hottest summer on record and extensive wildfires in the northern part of the country. Scientists attribute the increasing frequency and severity of such extreme weather events to climate change.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright

News Trending

Wildfires in Greece have tragically led to the loss of 20 lives and are still raging out of control near Athens and the Evros region close to the Turkish border. Among those killed, 18 are believed to be refugees and migrants who had recently crossed the border and sought refuge in forests north of Alexandroupolis. Greece has expressed deep condolences for the deaths occurring in the Dadia forest near the Turkish border. The fires have been ongoing for five days and have extended along the coast and near the city. Efforts to contain the fires are being hampered by strong winds and scorching temperatures of up to 40°C (104°F).

The victims’ bodies were discovered near a shack close to the village of Avantas, north of Alexandroupolis, by the fire service. The fire service and local authorities had issued evacuation warnings through emergency services. The victims are believed to have recently crossed the border from Turkey along the River Evros, which is a common route for migrants and refugees attempting to enter the European Union. The risk of wildfires adds to the many dangers migrants and refugees face in their journey, including violence, arrest, and drowning in the Mediterranean.

The victims are predominantly male, with two of them being minors. The bodies were found within a relatively small radius, and their identification is expected to be challenging, necessitating the involvement of their relatives. Some individuals had been attempting to follow a well-established path through the forest to avoid detection.

Tensions have arisen in the local communities as some residents blame migrants for causing the fires. However, there is no concrete evidence to suggest that migrants were responsible for starting the Dadia forest fire. A video showing a man “arresting” migrants and refugees and accusing them of arson provoked outrage in Greece, leading to the arrest of the man behind the video and others involved.

In response to the tragic events, the Supreme Court Prosecutor initiated inquiries into both the causes of the fires in the Evros region and incidents of alleged racist violence against migrants following the deaths in the Dadia forest.

As the fires continue to spread, evacuations have been conducted in various areas, including villages near Alexandroupolis and parts of the capital city, Athens. The situation remains challenging for firefighters, compounded by the evacuation of nursing homes and the destruction of homes in some areas.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright

News Trending

As wildfires continue to rage uncontrollably for a fourth consecutive day near Alexandroupolis in north-eastern Greece, a hospital in the area has been evacuated, with dozens of patients being relocated.

The flames encroached upon the university hospital grounds, prompting the evacuation of patients, including newborns and those in intensive care. The evacuation involved transporting patients to a ferry docked at a nearby port. The ferry was converted into a makeshift hospital ward where patients, some connected to oxygen tanks, were placed on mattresses.

Additional tents were set up along the shoreline. The city of Alexandroupolis, near Greece’s northeastern border with Turkey, is grappling with severe wildfires, exacerbated by strong winds and temperatures expected to reach 39°C (102°F). The fires have also affected other areas in Greece, such as Evia Island and Boeotia in central Greece, leading to village evacuations.

Tragically, at least one fatality has occurred due to the fires near Alexandroupolis. The hospital evacuation was hindered by the flames entering the hospital grounds, causing smoke and ash to envelop the area. The explosion of oxygen bottles added to the chaos. Throughout the night, the outskirts of Alexandroupolis were illuminated by a fiery red glow, and satellite imagery revealed extensive smoke cover over multiple Greek regions.

While some patients were transferred to other local hospitals, around 90 patients were relocated to the Adamantios Korais ferry, which was repurposed to care for newborns and intensive care cases. Additionally, residents from neighboring villages were advised to evacuate to Alexandroupolis for safety. Fires have also affected areas northwest of the city, including Rhodope and Kavala. In a different region, warehouses near Athens were engulfed in flames, accompanied by dark smoke clouds.

Firefighting efforts have been bolstered by assistance from France, Cyprus, and Romania. This situation is emblematic of the intensified wildfire risk currently faced by Greece and other European countries due to climate change, as extreme weather events become more frequent and intense.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright

News Trending

Amidst soaring temperatures, firefighters in Portugal are working diligently to contain wildfires that have spread across thousands of hectares. An overnight effort near Odemira involved around 800 personnel, leading to the evacuation of over 1,400 individuals. Tragically, nine firefighters have sustained injuries during the firefighting operations.

The Iberian Peninsula is expected to experience temperatures exceeding 40°C (104°F) this week. While three significant fires in Spain have been brought under control after scorching extensive areas, weather advisories persist across the country.

Portugal recorded its highest temperature of the year, reaching 46.4°C (116°F) in Santarém on Monday. A blaze that ignited near Odemira on Saturday was propelled southward into the Algarve’s hilly interior due to strong winds. Approximately 6,700 hectares (16,600 acres) of land have already been devastated, and numerous villages, tourist accommodations, and a camping site were evacuated. The mayor of Odemira described the situation as “critical, difficult, and complex.”

Elsewhere in Portugal, major fires prompted the closure of several sections of highways, including parts of the A1 connecting Lisbon and Porto. Firefighting efforts across both regions are being aided by sixteen waterbombing aircraft.

In response to the heightened fire risk, authorities have labeled over 120 municipalities in Portugal as being at maximum wildfire risk. Meanwhile, in Spain, fires near Cadiz, Huelva, and Catalonia consumed over 1,000 hectares (2,470 acres) collectively over the weekend.

This week’s heatwave marks the third to affect the Iberian peninsula this summer. According to Ruben del Campo of Spain’s State Meteorological Agency, the heatwave results from a substantial mass of hot, dry air originating from North Africa and is projected to be more intense, widespread, and longer-lasting than the two previous ones in July.

The increasing risk of such scorching and dry conditions that fuel wildfires is attributed to climate change. Global temperatures have already risen by around 1.1°C since the onset of the industrial era, and this trend will persist unless governments worldwide take significant measures to reduce emissions.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright

Natural Disaster News Trending

Italy is experiencing severe and unprecedented weather conditions. In Sicily, there are ongoing wildfires due to record-breaking temperatures, with Palermo being particularly affected. The fires have caused significant damage and are threatening towns and cities across the island. There have been evacuations of resorts and tourist areas, and Palermo Airport had to temporarily close due to the proximity of wildfires.

In the northern regions, violent storms and strong winds have uprooted trees, damaged buildings, and injured people. Some places experienced hailstones as large as tennis balls, which caused further damage to property and crops. Tragically, there have been casualties as a result of falling trees during the storms.

Local authorities have issued warnings and precautions to residents, advising them to avoid public parks and places with trees at risk of snapping off. The extreme weather has also affected the city of Milan, with the historical Sforza Castle closing to the public due to weather-related damage.

Italian officials, including the mayor of Milan, have acknowledged the impact of climate change on these extreme weather events and emphasized the need to take action. The situation is being closely monitored, and several regions have requested the government to declare a state of emergency.

The situation in Sicily has been exacerbated by an ongoing heatwave, with temperatures reaching more than 47.5°C (117°F) in Catania. Hospitals and emergency services are overwhelmed with patients seeking medical attention for smoke inhalation and heat-related illnesses. The fires are causing widespread environmental damage and have been described as an “unprecedented catastrophe.”

Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has acknowledged the severity of the situation and the challenges faced in firefighting due to the combination of high temperatures and strong winds.

Overall, Italy is grappling with the devastating impact of extreme weather events, which have been linked to climate change, and calls for urgent action to address the issue are increasing.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright

News Trending

Greece is preparing for another intense heatwave this weekend, with meteorologists warning that temperatures could soar as high as 45C (113F). As a result, people have been advised to stay indoors, and popular tourist sites, including the historic Acropolis in Athens, will be closed during the peak heat hours over the next two days.

This heatwave could potentially become Greece’s hottest July weekend in the past 50 years, according to a prominent meteorologist. At the same time, firefighters are still battling numerous wildfires across the country, and emergency officials are cautioning about a high risk of new blazes.

Several regions, such as Western Attica, Laconia, and Rhodes, have been severely impacted by the ongoing fires. In response to the crisis, Greece’s EU partners have offered assistance, with firefighting planes from France and Italy, as well as over 200 firefighters from Poland, Slovakia, Romania, and Bulgaria. Even neighboring Turkey is providing aircraft to help combat the fires.

The heatwave has struck at a particularly busy time for Greece’s tourism industry. The Hellenic National Meteorological Service (HNMS) predicts that central and eastern parts of the country could see temperatures reach up to 44C on Saturday, with an even hotter Sunday potentially hitting 45C in central Greece. Meteorologists are warning that Athens might experience temperatures above 40C for an extended period until the end of July.

Officials are concerned that this could be the most severe heatwave since 1987 when hundreds of deaths were attributed to extreme weather conditions. Several people have already lost their homes to the wildfires, with entire villages being consumed by the blazes.

Climate change is exacerbating the risk of hot and dry weather, which fuels wildfires. With temperatures already having risen by approximately 1.1C since the start of the industrial era, urgent action to reduce carbon emissions is needed to prevent further temperature increases.

Spain and Italy have also experienced intense heat this week in the Mediterranean region, while parts of the United States are also witnessing record-breaking temperatures.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright

News Trending

A heatwave in Europe has led to red alerts for extreme heat in most of Italy’s major cities. The high temperatures, expected to peak on Wednesday, have put 23 cities on high alert.

The heatwave is affecting millions of people in the northern hemisphere and is accompanied by wildfires in Greece and the Swiss Alps. The heatwave is caused by a high-pressure system bringing warmer air from the tropics, while a jet stream remains stuck over central Europe.

The extreme heat is forecasted to continue through Wednesday in southern Europe, with temperatures exceeding 40°C (104°F). Italy’s health ministry has activated “heat codes” in emergency rooms to handle the increase in heat-related illnesses.

There has been a 20% rise in patients admitted with symptoms such as dehydration, exhaustion, and heat stroke. Record-breaking temperatures of 41.8°C (107.2°F) were recorded in Rome. Red alerts are also in place in Spain, Greece, and parts of the Balkans. The heatwave is expected to continue into August, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

Other parts of the world, including the US and China, are also experiencing extreme heatwaves. Climate change is cited as a significant factor in the increasing frequency and intensity of heatwaves.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright

News Trending

A summer camp in Greece has been forced to evacuate over a thousand children due to raging wildfires that have erupted in the country. As Greece endures a scorching Mediterranean heatwave, two separate blazes are spreading rapidly.

In the town of Loutraki, situated west of Athens, flames advanced towards the camp, prompting the evacuation of 1,200 children. In another incident, a man suspected of starting a fire in Kouvaras, southeast of the capital, was arrested by the police. Emergency service crews have assisted numerous individuals in evacuating their homes in the affected areas.

Several animals, including horses housed in stables, were also evacuated. The Greek government has stated that affected homeowners are eligible for temporary accommodation in local hotels and will be compensated later. Despite the efforts of hundreds of firefighters contending with strong winds, the fires continue to spread.

The situation has led to transportation disruptions, with sections of the Athens-Corinth national highway closed by the police and some train services affected. While it is suspected that at least one fire was intentionally started, scientists emphasize that such extreme weather events are becoming more frequent and intense due to global warming.

The intense regional heatwave shows no signs of abating, according to weather reports, and the risk of further fires remains high, as warned by the Greek meteorological service. Thick smoke, damaged houses, and cars were depicted on Greek television, reflecting the destruction caused by the wildfires. Greece has experienced temperatures surpassing 40°C (104°F) in recent days, leading to precautions such as the temporary closure of the Acropolis.

Neighboring countries like Italy and Spain are also facing unusually high temperatures, and further heat records are expected to be broken in the coming days throughout the region.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright

Global Climate News Trending

Italy is currently experiencing extreme heat, leading to red alerts being issued for 15 cities, including Rome, Florence, and Bologna. This heatwave is part of a larger trend of increasing temperatures and longer heatwaves globally due to global warming.

The European Space Agency (ESA) predicts that Italy, Spain, France, Germany, and Poland may face extreme conditions, with potential record temperatures. Greece has already been experiencing temperatures of 40°C or higher, leading to the closure of tourist attractions like the Acropolis. There are concerns about the increased risk of wildfires in Greece and other areas with high winds.

Central parts of Europe, including Germany and Poland, are also affected by high temperatures. In contrast, the UK is experiencing heavy showers and cooler weather due to the southern shift of the jet stream. The current heatwave in Italy, named Cerberus, is expected to be followed by another heatwave called Charon, pushing temperatures above 40°C.

Heatwaves are also occurring in other parts of the world, including the US, China, North Africa, and Japan. The increasing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events due to global warming have become the new normal, according to the World Meteorological Organization.

Picture Courtesy: Google/images are subject to copyright