Record temperatures are literally bringing Spain and southern France to their knees, with temperatures not normally recorded until July or August and which experts say could exceed 50 degrees, even in the coming months. In France, 35 degrees were easily reached on the Mediterranean coast, but the mass of hot air made it reach peaks of 39 degrees a little further north, particularly in the south-west and the Rhone valley.
In Spain, the heat wave brought temperatures around 40 degrees, but up to 45 degrees in the province of Albacete. According to the State Meteorological Agency, the minimum night values do not fall below 20-25 degrees.
These extreme phenomena are obviously due to climate change and global warming. Temperatures in early June in France and Spain are the warmest in the past 20 years. It should also be remembered that last May was the hottest May in history, coupled with a worrying drought in the two countries.
The predominant causes of global warming depend on human activities, due to the emissions into the earth's atmosphere of increasing quantities of greenhouse gases, with a consequent increase in the greenhouse effect, and to other factors that are always attributable to human activities.
The data of the historical thermal series in possession of the scientists indicate that the warming is not uniform all over the globe: it is greater on land than in the oceans. Furthermore, due to the greater distribution of emerged lands and relative anthropization, it is more accentuated in the northern hemisphere than in the southern one and higher in northern latitudes rather than in the medium and low ones, the Arctic areas of Siberia and Canada are in strong warming, on the other hand the area of Antarctica is cooling.
In the Mediterranean Sea we have been witnessing for some years an entry of tropical species (tropicalization of the Mediterranean), in many cases Lessepsian or penetrated from the Red Sea through the Suez Canal; in the northernmost basins such as the Italian ones, on the other hand, there is an increase in the southern thermophilic species previously present only on the North African coasts.
The CO2 we are talking about comes mainly from the use of fossil fuels (oil, coal, gas); CH4, on the other hand, comes from intensive agriculture and from open landfills. Deforestation is also one of the major causes of the anthropogenic greenhouse effect: when trees are cut down or set on fire, the potential of ecosystems to store CO2 weakens and, consequently, our emissions increase indirectly.