Almost all of France suffocated under three episodes of heat wave, the first in June.
“The summer we have just spent is a powerful wake-up call,” Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said on Monday, a few days after President Emmanuel Macron estimated that the country was facing a “great seesaw”, including the impacts of global warming.
Many absolute heat records have been shattered, even in the northwest of the country, which is no longer a refuge protected by the ocean.
The thermometer notably reached 39.3°C in July at the tip of Brittany, in Brest.
Météo France has also set other records, such as these “exceptional series” of consecutive hot days (more than 25°C), for example in Marseille (south-east) since May 9, i.e. already 113 days, i.e. far 102 days from June 14 to September 23, 2018. In Strasbourg (north-east) the series has lasted since July 11, i.e. already 50 days (previous record 33 days in 1976/2003/2018).
Combined with the lack of rain, the heat favored the drought which affects almost the entire country and made the vegetation particularly flammable. Result, a black season of forest fires with 62,000 hectares ravaged since the beginning of the year, against an average of 8,500 at the same time, according to data from the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS).
Such a summer could resemble “an average summer in the middle of the century”, if the emissions of greenhouse gases responsible for global warming do not drop sharply, according to the models of Météo-France.
The fight against climate change therefore punctuates much of the start of the school year, from debates on private jets or swimming pools to statements by the heads of the executive, accused of not doing enough by the left-wing opposition and environmental NGOs.
In any case, the summer of 2022 will have marked public opinion, raising climate change to second place among the concerns of the French (32%) just behind inflation (33%), according to a recent Ipsos survey. According to another interactive Harris poll for Challenges on Wednesday, 86% of French people say they are worried about this.