Climate change: Acropolis is closed, Italy declares red alert – extreme heat wave has large parts of the world under control

In Greece, the ancient landmark Acropolis in Athens was closed again on Saturday.

Climate change: Acropolis is closed, Italy declares red alert – extreme heat wave has large parts of the world under control

In Greece, the ancient landmark Acropolis in Athens was closed again on Saturday. Italy declared the red alert for Rome, Bologna and Florence, among others. This level indicates an "emergency situation with possible negative effects on the health of healthy and active people," explained the Ministry of Health. The warning is primarily aimed at risk groups “such as the elderly, small children and people with chronic diseases”.

The Italian weather service said it feared "the most intense heat wave of the summer, but also one of the most intense on record". On Tuesday it could even be 42 or 43 degrees hot in Rome. The previous heat record of 40.5 degrees from August 2007 for the Italian capital could fall.

16-year-old tourist Veronika Niederlovi from the Czech Republic told the AFP news agency that Rome felt like a "blast furnace". It is simply "too hot" to stay longer in one place.

On the popular Italian Mediterranean island of Sardinia, the highest temperature of 48.8 degrees ever measured in Europe could be exceeded these days. According to the newspaper "Il Messaggero", two amateur footballers aged 48 and 51 died in the Naples region as a result of ailments believed to have been caused by the heat.

Due to the progressing climate change, such heat waves occur much more frequently than before and are also more intense, said meteorologist Claudio Cassardi to "Il Messaggero".

In addition to Italy, Germany, Spain, eastern France and Poland are also suffering from the heat wave in Europe. In Bavaria, maximum values ​​of almost 38 degrees were measured on Saturday. In many other places in Germany, temperatures rose above 30 degrees by the afternoon.

In Greece, the Antiquities Authority said the Acropolis would also be closed on Sunday for the third day in a row for the hottest hours of the day. According to the national weather service, temperatures of up to 39 degrees were measured in the Greek capital on Saturday. The Acropolis was closed for several hours on Friday. The Red Cross had distributed tens of thousands of water bottles there since Thursday, and shady canopies were also set up at the entrances.

According to the European Copernicus service, June was the warmest month worldwide since records began. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) also declared the first week of July to be the hottest so far, based on preliminary data. The El Niño weather phenomenon is making the situation even worse.

The west and south of the USA have also been suffering from extremely high temperatures for weeks. The National Weather Service (NWS) warned of an "extremely hot and dangerous weekend" on Saturday. According to this, temperatures of up to 43 degrees in the west of the country should persist, in the south they should rise even further at the beginning of the week. The NWS also warned of "air quality problems" in some parts of the country.

In Houston, Texas, residents were asked to conserve energy between the hours of 2 p.m. and 10 p.m. Saturday through Monday. According to the local news channel KPRC, an end to the heat wave is only in sight "on Sunday next week".

In the famous Californian Death Valley, the fire brigade has been fighting violent fires since Friday. The highest air temperature ever measured on Earth could be reached or even exceeded there at the weekend, said climate researcher Daniel Swain from the University of California in Los Angeles. The previous reliably registered record was 54.4 degrees in 2020 and 2021.

Extreme heat is also currently prevailing in North Africa and Asia. In Morocco, the weather service announced a heat wave with temperatures of up to 47 degrees that would last until Tuesday and also warned of a lack of water. In China, up to 40 degrees or more were expected in several provinces over the weekend. In Japan, the authorities warned people to be careful because of expected temperatures of up to 39 degrees.