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The Mediterranean heatwave goes on

Mediterranean heatwave: A map showing Turkey, Greece and Cyprus, with red and yellow coloring indicating high heat.
View larger. | The labels on this map are hard to read and the legend (lower left corner) is, too. But if you squint (or view larger), you can see that the map shows Greece, Turkey and the island nation of Cyprus, all laboring under extreme heat this week. The European Space Agency generated this map using data from the Sea and Land Surface Temperature Radiometer aboard the Copernicus Sentinel-3 satellite. This instrument measures the real amount of energy radiating from Earth and thus provides a measurement of temperatures across a land surface. Map via ESA.

Mediterranean heatwave

The European Space Agency (ESA) released this map today (August 3, 2021). It shows the temperature of the land surface around the Mediterranean Sea on August 2. That measurement is in contrast to weather forecasts, which speak in terms of air temperatures. And, ESA said, the map looks very similar to one released a month ago, on July 2. ESA said:

It is clear to see that surface temperatures in Turkey and Cyprus have reached over 50 C [122 F] again … The Mediterranean has been suffering a heatwave for some weeks, leading to numerous wildfires. Turkey, for example, is reported to be amid the country’s worst blazes in at least a decade.

Read more from The Guardian: Turkey battles coastal wildfires, in pictures

As for air temperatures, yes, they are high, too. The high air temperatures set records in both Greece and Turkey earlier this week. Reuters reported late last week, for example, that Greek authorities were warning the public against unnecessary work and travel, as air temperatures hit 40 C (104 F) in Athens. The high today (August 3) in Athens was also 104 F, according to Accuweather. The Acropolis, Athens’ most visited monument, has been closed due to the high heat.

Read more from Reuters: ‘Welcome to global warming’: Greece warns against unnecessary work as temperatures soar


Bottom line: The Mediterranean heatwave is featuring land surface temps of over 50 C (122 F) and air temps in triple digits as well.


August 3, 2021

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