Europe is basking in alarmingly warm temperatures. Just months after the summer heatwave that killed more than 20,000 people, record high January temperatures in eight countries on New Year’s Day reflect what climatologist Maximiliano Herrera told CNN is “the most extreme heat wave in European history” based on the delta between average and observed temperatures. The warm temperatures have driven down methane gas prices and allowed countries to build up reserves amid Russia’s attempt to blackmail European countries into abiding its war in Ukraine.
The winter heatwave has also been catastrophic for European skiing with resorts across the Alps forced to close slopes. “I’ve been in this village for 20 years and this is the first time I’ve seen so little snow at this time of year,” Patrice Blanc, who works in a local tourist office, told Le Monde per the Guardian. Without fast action to dramatically slash the extraction and combustion of fossil fuels, “skiing in the Alps as we know is just going to be over,” Wim Thiery, a climate science professor at the University of Brussels, told the Guardian. “These problems will just get worse … as long as the climate warms.” (Heatwave: CNN, Reuters, Grist, New York Times $; Gas prices & storage: AP, New York Times $, Bloomberg $, Wall Street Journal $; Skiing: The Guardian, CNN, TIME, Bloomberg $, Reuters, New York Times $, AP, CNBC)