Greece records hottest June in over six decades

ATHENS   -   Greece recorded in 2024 its hottest June since 1960, a researcher said Tuesday, as the Mediterranean nation braces for a season of heatwaves and wildfires. The average temperature in Greece has increased by 2.5 degrees Celsius during the decades from 1960 to 2024, said Kostas Lagouvardos, research director at the National Observatory of Athens.   “The month of June 2024 was characterised by long periods of elevated temperatures over several days, largely surpassing normal seasonal temperatures throughout the country,” he added. While June temperatures in Greece normally do not exceed 30-31 degrees Celsius (86-88 degrees Fahrenheit), the nation had temperatures this year of 35C and a heatwave in mid-June with temperatures of over 40C, Lagouvardos said. Greek government spokesman Pavlos Marinakis told reporters this week there had been 1,281 fires this June compared with 533 last June.  Strong winds and drought conditions have fanned fires in recent weeks in the area around Athens, on the island of Chios near the Turkish mainland and in the Peloponnese region south of the capital. Scientists say climate change makes extreme weather events including heatwaves more likely, longer lasting and more intense.

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