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Europe getting hotter: WWF

The Sentinal, Guwahati, 12th August, 2005

 

Summers in European cities have grown up to 2.2 Celsius hotter since the 1970 and global warming may cause ever more sweltering temperatures, the WWF conservation group said on Thursday. The rises, above UN estimated for average world temperature gains, could further strain health services in Europe cities, a WWF report said. A heat wave in 2003 was blamed for killing 40,000 peoples, mostly in Italy and France.

 

The WWF survey of 16 capitals from Stockholm to Rome showed average temperature rises of at least 1.0c in all cities except Dublin (0.70), Helsinki (0.8) and Copenhagen (0.2) in summer months of 2001-04 compared with 1970-74. At the top of the range, average temperatures in Madrid had risen by 2.2C to a 24-hour average of 23.7C, London and Luxembourg were 2.0c hotter, with Athens and Lisbon trailing with gains of 1.9C. The WWF said temperature rises could only be partly explained by heat islands caused by growing urban populations. A build up of heat-rapping gases from fossil fuels burnt in power plants, cars and factories was more likely a main cause but the exact reason but the exact reason were unclear, Zethoven said.

 

The scientific panel that advises the United Nations estimated in 2001 that world temperatures had raised by 0.6 in the 20th century, largely because of a build-up of greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. It projects that temperatures could rise by a further 1.4-5.8C by 2100, threatening more extreme weather like floods, droughts and stormed and melting glaciers, raising world sea levels by up to a metre.