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European Heat Waves Are Getting Longer

By Andrew C. Revkin (The New York Times) - August 7, 2007

Researchers studying western European temperature records have found that the length of heat waves there has doubled since 1880, from 1.5 days to 3 days on average. They also say that the number of summer days that are far hotter than the average for a particular date has tripled. The team described its work in the current issue of the Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres. The scientists, led by Paul M. Della-Marta of the University of Bern in Switzerland, said the findings supported the idea that global warming from human activities could be making Europe more prone to extreme conditions. They recommended that health agencies in the region work on ways to limit human health risks from summer heat.