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Turkey and Cyprus surface temp ‘over 50C’: European agency

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Blistering heatwaves in Turkey and Cyprus have seen land surface temperatures exceed 50 degrees Celsius for the second time in a month, Agence France-Presse reported, citing the European Space Agency on Tuesday.

The worst wildfires in decades have scorched swaths of Turkey’s Mediterranean and Aegean coasts for a week, while neighboring Greece has said a record heatwave there is linked to climate change.

The ESA published a map of the region, including Cyprus, that shows large areas baked a deep red.

“It is clear to see that surface temperatures in Turkey and Cyprus have reached over 50C, again,” the agency said in a statement.

A previous map, generated with data from its Copernicus Sentinel-3 satellite, showed a similar image on July 2.

“While weather forecasts use predicted air temperatures, this satellite instrument measures the real amount of energy radiating from Earth — and depicts the real temperature of the land surface,” it said.

Land surface temperatures are distinct from — and often more extreme than — air temperatures that are included in weather reports.

NASA describes them as “how hot the ‘surface’ of the Earth would feel to the touch in a particular location.”

In Turkey, air temperatures in excess of 40C across the south have set off a record surge in electricity use that caused power outages Monday in cities such as Ankara and Istanbul.

Heat waves have become more likely across the world due to climate change, according to scientists who predict they will become more frequent and intense as global temperatures rise.

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