These are extreme temperatures, which also occurred before 2010, but much less. Between 1980 and 2009, there were an average of 14 such days per year, according to a BBC analysis. Between 2010 and 2019, there were on average 26.
Not just in the desert
So you may think that this only happens in the desert, or in places where the Dutch hardly come. But this is not true. The extreme heat is spreading around the world, and although it still reaches 50 degrees or more mainly in the Middle East, that limit is not far off in other places.
This summer, it was nearly 49 degrees in Italy and 49.6 degrees in Canada. So we’ll pass those 50 degrees if we don’t act quickly, say climate scientists.
Temperatures above 45 degrees are also increasingly common, the BBC has found. Over the past ten years, this has happened on average about two weeks a year more than in the previous period.
And what about the Netherlands? The temperature in our country is also increasing significantly, as you have noticed in recent summers. The summers of 2018, 2019 and 2020 have been sweltering. “And we hit 40 degrees for the first time,” says Nicolien Kroon from Buienradar. “It’s really because of climate change.”
Few tropical days
The summer that has just ended may have been a little less hot. Although not that bad, according to Kroon: “This summer may have been a bad summer, but the temperature was average. There just weren’t many summer days and tropical days in between. the two.”
And of course, it was sometimes very hot in the Netherlands in the last century. But where it happens more often now, it was an exception then. That infamous summer of 1976, for example. Long the hottest summer ever, but now 4 summers of 1976 have passed.
Scientists the BBC has spoken to are unanimous in their verdict. “The warming can be attributed 100% to the burning of fossil fuels,” said Friederike Otto of the University of Oxford.
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