In Sweden, unusually warm temperatures have combined with little to no rainfall to stoke severe wildfires in several parts of the country. The fires have been raging since July 15. Some may have started naturally, but others are likely to have been caused by the use of disposable barbecues (link in Swedish).
It’s one of the the worst wildfire outbreaks Sweden has suffered, and the country’s authorities have called for help. France, Germany, Denmark, and Poland have sent in firefighters, while Italy, Portugal, Norway, and Lithuania have sent in aircraft and helicopters (paywall). Other Nordic countries have been suffering severe droughts that threaten crops.
Sweden is one among many victims of a global heatwave that has scorched the normally green terrain in the UK and Ireland, killed at least 50 people in Canada, and set the highest recorded temperature in Africa (51.3°C, or 124.3°F).
One of the chief causes of the heatwave is misbehaving jet streams—bands of strong winds blowing five miles above the Earth’s surface. Intensified jet streams bring storms, but currently these winds are weak, causing hot and dry weather to not change. These swings are more pronounced because of human-caused climate change, which is pushing weather events to greater extremes.