It is a fact that temperatures in our country are rising. Just think of the drought that characterized the last Italian winter season. Now a new confirmation comes fromIspra. Recently, the Higher Institute for Environmental Protection and Research, in its role as focal point national for the transmission of data and climate products toWorld Meteorological Organization (WMO), produced and forwarded information at the national level, which help to compose the global climate picture for the year 2018.
The report shows that 2018 was a particularly hot year: it ranks fourth, highlighting a trend that sees the years from 2015 to 2018 as the four hottest years in the entire historical series of measurements that began in 1880.
In Italy, however, the situation appears even more serious. According to the references sent by Ispra, 2018 is the result “in first place among the hottest years of the entire historical series”.
WMO annual report: data on climate and extreme events
The contribution that is provided to the WMO by all member states consists in the compilation of a model which summarizes data and information on the climatic trend in the current year, both as regards the average values of temperature and precipitation , both on the front of extreme weather events, such as heat waves, floods, droughts, wind storms, exceptional snowfalls.
In order to draw up the document, graphs and maps representing the anomalies of temperature and precipitation are also made available.
The report aims to inform governments, international agencies and citizens on the state of the global climate, on current trends and on the most significant weather and climate events.
The Italian climate picture
Among the data communicated by Ispra for the WMO report, the flood events that affected the Fiemme and Fassa Valleys, the province of Belluno and the province of Palermo, respectively, in the months of July, October and November, were also reported. wind storm that hit the entire national territory at the end of October and the long and intense heat wave that hit Italy for two weeks between the end of July and mid-August. A succession of extreme climatic conditions that does not seem to stop. One example among all: in Po Valley it is currently a drought emergency. The dry winter did not bring enough rain, the water level of rivers and lakes is worryingly decreasing and the snow reserves in the mountains are scarce.
The effects did not take long to manifest themselves in various regions, including Piedmont and Veneto, where there are problems in agricultural irrigation. The drought alarm does not exclude Lombardy. The Region is preparing to face an eventual water crisis which could affect the agricultural sector in the summer months. For now, no definitive decisions have been made but, to avoid damage to Lombard agriculture, two strategies are envisaged: recovering rainwater in disused quarries and raising the level of Lake Maggiore.
Abnormal heat and drought: it is a fire emergency
Hand in hand with abnormal temperatures and drought levels, fires also move. The WMO report highlights how 2018 was a "hot" year also in this respect. On 23 July, major fires struck the region around Athens. The flames spread rapidly with strong winds that were unusual for the period of the year, resulting in a considerable loss of life. Large-scale fires also occurred in the United States. Among these, the hell of fire that went down in history with the name of "The Camp Fire", which developed in November in the northeastern area of San Francisco. Experts have called it thedeadliest fire in US history.
The high risk of fires does not exclude Italy. Recent data speak for themselves: since the beginning of 2019 in our country there has been one fire a day. With often devastating consequences.
The climate, in short, is sending us clear messages. It is time to act with concrete solutions to change the cards on the table. Before it's too late.