ESA Chief urges actions against climate change as the Monster Fire in France consumes nearly 7,000 hectares.
The Monster Fire:
European countries sent firefighting teams for helping France to tackle the monster wildfire. Forest fires also raged in Portugal and Spain. The chief of the European Space Agency (ESA) called for immediate actions in combating climate change.
Around 1,000 firefighters, accompanies by water-bombing planes, fought for a third-day fire. This fire has forced thousands to leave their homes. The monster fire consumes thousands of hectares of forest in the Gironde region, southwestern France.
The emergency services struggled to get the fire under control because of the dangerous combination of blistering temperatures, wind fanning of flames, and tinder-box conditions.
The crumbling of glaciers, heatwaves, and floods in the past weeks have increased concerns over climate change. It is increasing with the frequency, and intensity of extreme weather conditions across the globe.
Josef Aschbacher, the Head of ESA, stated that shrinking rivers and rising temperatures of land, as measured from space, left no doubts regarding the toll on agriculture from climate change.
ESA’s Copernicus Sentinel-3 satellite series observed extreme temperatures on the land surface of more than 45C in Britain, 60C in Spain, and 50C in France in the recent past weeks.
“It’s pretty bad. We have seen extremes that have not been observed before,” Aschbacher told Reuters.
Climate Change and other European Nations:
With a series of heatwaves in Europe this summer, unprecedented droughts and searing temperatures pushed the focus on climate change risks to livelihoods, industries, and farming.
Various droughts are set to damage the European Union’s maize harvest by around 15%.
Swiss army helicopters are airlifting water to thirsty dairy animals, who were sweltering under the burning sun in the Alpine meadows.
In France, it is the harshest drought recorded. Water trucks are delivering water to dozens of villages. Nuclear power stations got waivers for pumping hot discharge water into the river. While the farmers have warned that a shortfall in fodder may lead to shortages of milk.
In Germany, less rainfall resulted in draining the water levels of the Rhine, hampering shipping and heightening freight costs.