[36] In spite of this the Scania County stayed below extremes of 30 °C (86 °F) indicating a more subtle kind of heat. The 2003 heatwave led to the deaths of an estimated 70,000 people across Europe, and 15,000 in France alone. The records from 1997 and 2002 held up all throughout the country, and the warmest temperature was 30.8 °C (87.4 °F) in Stockholm on 1 August, which was higher than the warmest Irish temperature. French society has been confronted in a brutal way with the social implications of an ageing population and the tragedy of the heat wave has brought home to many people the important question of quality of life in old age. Why Europe's heatwave is so unusual In pictures: Europe's June 2019 heatwave European heat wave of 2003, record high temperatures across Europe in 2003 that resulted in at least 30,000 deaths (more than 14,000 in France alone). Britannica Kids Holiday Bundle! [15] The highest temperature recorded this heatwave was on 7 August, when in Arcen, in Limburg, a temperature of 37.8 °C (100.0 °F) was reached, 0.8 °C below the national record (since 1904). Europe was experiencing a historic heat wave that had been responsible for at least 3,000 deaths in France alone in the summer of 2003. In Findel, Luxembourg, the temperature reached 37.9 °C (100.2 °F) between 8 and 12 August, making it the country's highest temperature since records began in 1947. During summer 2003, the early onset of hot weather, unusually high temperatures, and prolonged heat-stress conditions caused extreme peaks in mortality throughout Europe. This led to statistically improbable survival rates with the weakest group having fewer deaths than more physically fit persons; most of the heat victims came from the group of elderly persons not requiring constant medical care, and/or those living alone, without frequent contact with immediate family. The relationship of mortality with temperature and ozone or PM10 from “normal” summers may not fully apply. The heat wave baked many parts of Europe, devastating livestock and fanning forest fires, but no other country has announced a death toll even close to the one recorded by France. At dawn that same day, a freak storm developed in the southern region of the country. As a result of summer 2003, an alert system was introduced in France which aims to warn people about expected highs and avoid more deaths. France reported 14 802 casualties using a method European heat wave of 2003, record high temperatures across Europe in 2003 that resulted in at least 30,000 deaths (more than 14,000 in France alone). Risk Analysis, 25: 1483–1494. In 2003, a heat wave lasting two weeks killed an estimated 15,000 people in France—and 70,000 throughout Europe. More than 70,000 people died during a record-breaking heat wave that left Europe sweltering in June, July and August 2003. France has adopted strict heat wave guidelines since the summer of 2003, when between 15,000 and 19,000 people died as a result of extreme temperatures – many of … 32. Encyclopaedia Britannica's editors oversee subject areas in which they have extensive knowledge, whether from years of experience gained by working on that content or via study for an advanced degree.... Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The number of people dying in the heat in 2020 was comparable to the 2,234 excess deaths seen during the 2003 Europe-wide heatwave and the 2,323 who died in the heatwave in 2006, PHE said. Around 300 people—mostly elderly—died during the 2003 heatwave in Germany. However, Atlantic cyclones brought cool and wet weather for a short while at the end of July and beginning of August before the temperatures started to increase substantially from 3 August onwards. The United Kingdom saw its hottest July maximum temperature on record on the first day of the month (July 1) as temperatures rose to 98°F (36.7°C) at Heathrow airport in London. Europe failed to act after the 2003 French heatwave. All in all, more than 52,000 Europeans died from heat in the summer of 2003, making the heat wave one of the deadliest climate-related disasters in Western history. Peer-reviewed analysis places the European death toll at more than 70,000. On 8 August, a temperature of 37.7 °C (99.9 °F) was recorded, and 12 August had a temperature of 37.2 °C (99.0 °F).[16]. Although research established that heat waves represent a major threat for public health, France had no policy in place. [12][13] Five percent of Portugal's countryside and 10% of the forests (215,000 hectares[5] or an estimated 2,150 km2 (830 sq mi)), were destroyed, and 18 people died in the flames. An analysis from Athens suggests that high temperature and air pollution concentrations may also interact to produce a greater effect than each factor acting alone ( Katsouyanni et al., 1993 ). Many companies traditionally closed in August, so people had no choice about when to vacation. These divergent figures indicate that a global assessment of excess mortality is difficult, if not impossible, because no standardized estimates across European countries have been made for the 2003 heat wave . 268 R. Garc´ıa-Herrera et al. Elderly persons with family support or those residing in nursing homes were more likely to have others who could make the adjustments for them. The 2003 European heat wave led to the hottest summer on record in Europe since at least 1540. [17] A further research of INE estimated a 12,963 excess of deaths during summer of 2003. Family doctors were still in the habit of vacationing at the same time. A refrigerated warehouse outside Paris was used by undertakers as they did not have enough space in their own facilities. The number of people dying in the heat in 2020 was comparable to the 2,234 excess deaths seen during the 2003 Europe-wide heatwave and the 2,323 who died in the heatwave in 2006, PHE said. In July 2015, extreme heat in the country killed 3,300. NOW 50% OFF! During the 2003 heat wave in Europe, three days after the start and until four days after the conclusion of the heat wave, 70.000 excess deaths across the entire continent were counted 43, 44 . The elderly were particularly susceptible to the heat, as were those who were chronically ill or isolated from sources of aid. France does not commonly have very hot summers, particularly in the northern areas, but eight consecutive days with temperatures of more than 40 °C (104 °F) were recorded in Auxerre, Yonne in early August 2003. 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