CLIMATE – School is back, and the least we can say is that the summer of 2022 has really turned upside down, around us, in terms of climate and global warming. Droughts, repeated heat waves, fires… The HuffPost back, in the video you see at the top of this articlein a summer of heat and disasters that hit France.
An early June heat wave
From mid-June, France faced an unprecedented heat wave, the first recorded since 1947. Seasonal normals exceeded 8.86 degrees, ” The second highest value ever recorded in France behind 9.13°C on December 16, 1989”says Météo-France.
The peak of this heat wave ended on June 18 with record temperatures in many French cities. Biarritz recorded 43 degrees that day.
🌡️ #VaguedeChaleur What to expect this #Thursday and the following days? #vigilance #heatwave… https://t.co/7YimZczt82
— Meteo-France (@meteofrance)
Unstoppable fires in the Gironde
On July 12, when another heat wave hit the country, two fires broke out in the towns of Landiras and Teste-de-Buch, in Gironde. Facing scorching heat and threatening winds, firefighters battled for 13 nights to extinguish the blaze.
During these fires, the damage was great. Many campsites such as the mythical Flots Bleus campsite have been reduced to ashes and more than 20,000 hectares of forest have burned.
At the same time more than 30,000 people were evacuated from the disaster areas as well as hundreds of animals. On August 15, 60,000 hectares of forest burned in France. Mostly spared, regions like Brittany and the Jura massif are victims of fires.
The drought affected all of France
The winter was unusually mild and mostly lacked rain and to this were added these early heat waves. As a result, the whole of France was put on drought alert in early August. Natural water points have largely declined, giving way to sometimes invisible landscapes.
For good reason, the ground water will not be replenished this winter and the heat will dry up the lakes and rivers. For the faithful holidaymakers of the Gorges du Verdon, some areas are sometimes inaccessible while the Loire, for example, is not covered. Currently, 93 departments are still on drought alert.
Affected by the #drought, access to the Gorges du Verdon from Lake Sainte-Croix is no longer possible. Map p… https://t.co/gpEM4glnn2
— Alexander Vella (@Vella_ale)
Unprecedented water restrictions
Result of this widespread drought alert: the whole of France is affected by water restriction measures at several levels: “vigilance”, “alerto”, “reinforced alert”, “crisis”. Departments at the level of “crisis” (red) such as Var, should check their consumption.
And despite “close to normal” weather conditions this autumn, the drought will last until November in some regions of southern France.
Second part of the fire
On August 9, the Landiras fire broke out again, burning 7,400 hectares. But it finally rained and the fire was brought under control a few days later on August 14.
During these few days of recovery, and facing the fatigue of the firefighters in the sector, countries such as Germany, Romania, Poland, Austria, Greece and Italy came to give a hand to the soldiers of French fire. Such an assistance system, with more than 400 European firefighters to master “Landiras-2”, a first in France against a fire.
#FiresGironde | Update at 9am 🔥 The fire is considered contained but not yet resolved ▶️ Treatment… https://t.co/9HrApgL4D2
– Prefect of New Aquitaine and Gironde (@PrefAquitaine33)
Corsica under violent storms
Within an hour, deadly thunderstorms hit Corsica on August 18, killing 5 people and injuring about 20 people. Gusts of over 200 km/h were recorded leaving room for extensive damage.
However, it is difficult to say that the ferocity of the event is linked to the climatic conditions this summer. “At the moment, it is difficult to link this episode to climate change”Jean-Michel Soubeyroux, director of climatology and climatic services at Météo-France, told Corse Matin. “There is a clear intuition of a link. But an attribution study needs to be done to confirm it. »
See also at The HuffPost: Nazi shipwrecks return drought