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It’s as if Europe had been turned upside down: in Helsinki, Finland, it’s 26 degrees (almost 28 is expected on Saturday), while in Portugal, over 4,000 kilometers to the south, the thermometers read 21 maximum. It is an atypical situation: to the north it is ten degrees more and south ten degrees less than what is expected for this time of year. Why?
What is at stake is normal circulation, explains to Observer Jorge Ponte, a meteorologist at the Portuguese Institute of the Sea and Atmosphere (IPMA). “The phenomenon is related to the location of anticyclone action centers and low pressure regions.”
More simply, it is as if we were giving up part of our summer to northern European countries: “What has been selected is that there is a very intense anticyclonic ridge in eastern Europe as far as Scandinavia. This causes the transport of a mass of warmer and drier air from southern Europe to that region.”
On the other hand, the functioning of the summer in Portugal can be justified by the arrival of insular air: in western Europe, which includes the countries of the Iberian Peninsula, if “a flow”, caused by an “anticyclone to the northwest” of the Azores that transports a more maritime and humid air mass for these regions”, adds the cooler climate meter, adds the eologist.
And the changes are, are they? Indirectly, since it is not the cause of the phenomenon, but they aggravate it. “The episode itself cannot be explained by climate change — it is the position of the centers of action and the transport of air masses that is causing these temperatures. These phenomena always happen. But there is scientific evidence that shows that these phenomena are now more frequent and intense than they were before, and this may explain climate change.”