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'It's a recipe for disaster': ASU climate scientists discuss Europe's deadly heatwave

Posted at 7:01 PM, Jul 20, 2022

From a deadly heatwave to devastating wildfires, hundreds of millions of people are experiencing the effects of climate change all over the world.

According to Arizona State University climatologist Dr. Randy Cerveny, the record-setting temperatures in the United Kingdom and the fires in France and Greece are "definite signs of climate change."

"People don't seem to realize that, but it is," Dr. Cerveny says. "It is something that we are going to have unfortunately more and more of."

104°F in London and 109°F in France were some of the all-temperature records broken in Europe.

The excessive heat is too much for those countries to handle according to Arizona State Climatologist Dr. Erinanne Saffell.

“The infrastructure in Europe is not capable of keeping people cool like we have here in Arizona,” she states. This has led to more than 1,000 heat-related deaths in Spain and Portugal.

Although temperatures in excess of 100°F doesn't sound like much for Arizonans, it's about perspective that makes the extreme weather so important, according to Dr. Cerveny.

“For people in Arizona, they may say oh that’s nothing, but that is their all-time hottest temperature. That would be equivalent to us getting above 122,” which is Phoenix's all-time hottest temperature on record. This was set in 1990.