In 2014, it was still a distant scenario that a French weather presenter warned of – and that a Twitter user now recalled. She writes that the presenter showed a weather map on TV of what it might look like in 2050 as part of a campaign to warn of the devastating effects of climate change.
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In mid-August 2050, according to the map behind the presenter, it could get hotter than 40 degrees in many regions of France, and up to 43 degrees in parts of southern France.
Now the fear from back then has become reality much earlier: The scenario on the weather map corresponds to the actual forecast for the next four to five days, the user writes on Twitter. Over 13,000 people shared the tweet.
France is currently being hit by an unusually early heatwave. According to the French weather service, temperatures will reach 40 degrees and more in parts of the southwest on Friday. This affects 37 of the 101 departments with a total of 18 million inhabitants. The climate expert of the French weather service, Matthieu Sorel, spoke of the earliest heat wave since 1947.
The high temperatures are exacerbating the drought in the soil, which is already a major concern for farmers after a dry winter and spring. The risk of forest fires is increasing. Ozone alerts were also declared in several regions, including the east and the greater Paris area.
Northern Italy’s Po Valley is also suffering from the worst drought in 70 years. In the heavily agricultural area, some communities are now rationing water distribution. The President of Lombardy, Attilio Fontana, spoke of an “extraordinarily difficult situation”. He announced that a state of emergency would be declared soon. According to the Coldiretti Agricultural Association, the drought is threatening half of the cultivated area in the Po Valley and almost a third of the country’s agricultural production.