What is happening in Turkey and Europe
Experts have warned that climate change is increasing both the frequency and intensity of wildfires. The record temperatures are due to a ‘heat dome,’ which is a high-pressure zone that functions like a lid on a pot. Under this cover, a mass of hot air is trapped, resulting in scorching temperatures.
• Fires are escalating due to climate change
They are very prevalent in temperate zones such as the Mediterranean, but are becoming increasingly severe and frequent in places where they do not typically form. According to scientists from the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the main cause was a significant change in ocean temperatures last winter.
Due to its shallow waters and semi-enclosed nature, the Mediterranean has warmed faster than any other sea on the planet. It has soared by up to 0.4 degrees Celsius each decade, compared to a worldwide rise of 0.2 degrees. The region is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of the global catastrophe.
Turkey is experiencing some of its worst wildfires in years, owing to an extreme heat wave and months of dry weather. Over 130 wildfires have been reported in 30 Turkish provinces in the last seven days. The majority of the flames have erupted around the Mediterranean and Aegean Sea coastlines, with many raging near Antalya, Mugla, and Marmaris. According to the European Forest Fire Information Service.
• The Devestating impacts of the wildfires
Fahrettin Koca, the health minister, stated that at least 27 people were still being hospitalized as a result of the fires, while hundreds more had been treated and discharged. When villagers around Mar Maris asked for more help on social media, people got into small boats with bags.
Others were waiting, worrying whether the fire would come down to shore. Civilians were attempting to defend homes and olive orchards, although several residences had already been destroyed. Tourists in Bodrum were seen scurrying along streets, rolling their baggage, to escape the approaching fires, according to social media footage.
‘The animals are on fire,’ say distraught farmers as wildfires rage throughout Turkey.
Hundreds of miles west of the Bodrum tourist hotspot, more than 1,000 people were evacuated by boat to avoid the flames on both Sunday and Saturday. According to the state-run Anadolu news agency, at least eight people have been killed from the 100 fires that erupted earlier this week. Scorching summer temperatures due to climate change, experts say, exacerbated the flames.
The fires have erupted in the midst of severe flooding in parts of Western Europe in recent weeks. For decades, scientists have warned that climate change will raise the risk of extreme weather events such as heavy downpours and devastating flooding.
For weeks, most of southern Europe has been scorching at temperatures not seen since the 1980s.
The hottest weather has reached southern Italy, Greece, and Turkey, as well as neighboring Albania, North Macedonia, Kosovo, southern Serbia, and Bulgaria.
Firefighters supported by water bombers in Spain fought a blaze that broke out on Saturday near the San Juan Reservoir, 70 km (40 mi) east of Madrid.