Climate & Environment

Europe’s burning: Why adapting to the realities of climate change is as urgent as reducing emissions

With heatwaves throughout the continent, people dying, homes and habitats destroyed and air polluted by smoke, last week’s extreme weather has come as a sharp reminder that excessive summer heat generated by climate change is having effects as devastating as the storms and floods of autumn and winter

A wildfire burns forestry in the outskirts of Memoria village, in the municipality of Leiria, in the centre of Portugal. Picture: Shutterstock

When Mariam Zachariah moved from Mumbai to London this year, she was expecting to endure a chilly English summer.

Instead, the climate scientist experienced the kind of temperatures she was used to during Indian summers back home last week as a heatwave shattered Britain’s previous temperature record of 38.7C, with London recording a sweltering 40.3C on Tuesday afternoon.

“Similar temperatures, even just in the high 20s, feel much hotter in this part of the world. In India we are used to such weather and there are various ways we have adapted to it. Our buildings are built to withstand that heat, but not here,” Zachariah told the Business Post.