Greece Experiences Its Warmest Winter Ever, Sparking Wildfire Concerns

Written by Camilla Jessen

Mar.05 - 2024 7:54 AM CET

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Photo: Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock.com
Photo: Alexandros Michailidis / Shutterstock.com
This winter, Greece experienced its warmest season on record, raising concerns about crop health and the potential for severe wildfires in the coming summer, as reported by Greek scientists' analysis.

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According to Reuters, from December to February, Greece's average peak temperature reached 11.3 degrees Celsius.

This temperature is 1.8 degrees higher than the winter average from 1960 to 2024.

The National Observatory of Athens, after examining data from the EU's Copernicus Climate Change Service, noted that in certain areas of northern Greece, temperatures surged by 7-8 degrees. Marking the hottest winter since records began in 1936, this event continues a pattern seen in Greece, where the six warmest winters have occurred in the last decade.

Constantinos Lagouvardos, the scientific director at the national observatory, stated, "Most days the temperature was above normal, with only short periods of cold weather."

"This is a new reality and we have to take it seriously. Climate change is definitely happening," Lagouvardos added.

The unusual winter temperatures have sparked worries in Greece, a country significantly impacted by climate change. Last summer, wildfires claimed at least 20 lives in Greece.

Additionally, last autumn witnessed unprecedented torrential rains that led to floods, ruining homes, pastures, and crops.

According to Copernicus, the past year was the hottest globally in recorded history, possibly the warmest in the last 100,000 years. Greek scientists warn that the warm winter, coupled with scarce rainfall and low humidity, might set the stage for more intense wildfires this summer.

Such fires have become more frequent in Greece in recent years, fueled by extreme heat waves attributed to climate change.

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