As if to punctuate the IPCC’s warning of climate-fueled extreme weather events, wildfires have raged across half a million acres of Greece for the past week, killing at least a dozen, destroying hundreds of homes, doing incalculable damage to some villages, and forcing thousands to evacuate, some in ferries against a terrifying backdrop of rolling hills engulfed in flames. Others have refused to evacuate, and are fighting the forest fires with buckets and hoses in a desperate bid to save their homes. At least 22 nations have sent over a thousand firefighting reinforcements to the region, as Southern Europe is experiencing its most extreme heatwave in decades.
Temperatures in Greece reached 115°F (45°C), and the heatwave is fueling fires across Mediterranean and even all the way to Siberia, the smoke from which has reached the North Pole. One evacuee, a pregnant 38-year old named Mina, told Reuters that it’s “like a horror movie. But now this is not the movie, this is real life, this is the horror that we have lived with for the last week.” (Reuters, ABC, AP, New York Times $, Reuters, Washington Post $, The Guardian, New York Times $, ABC, FT $; Climate Signals background: Wildfires, Extreme heat and heatwaves)