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Heatwave in Northern Africa and Southern Europe
This page contains archived content and is no longer being updated. At the time of publication, it represented the best available science. However, more recent observations and studies may have rendered some content obsolete.
Already in the throes of severe drought, Spain and Portugal endured scorching temperatures in July. The high temperatures extended around the Mediterranean to Northern Africa, where 13 died of sunstroke in Algeria. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) on NASA’s Terra satellite recorded these high temperatures between July 12 and July 19, 2005. The western Mediterranean is surrounded by the warm yellow and pink tones that denote high temperatures. The colors in this image reflect the temperature of the ground, not the air. Because the land tends to retain more heat than the air, ground temperatures are slightly warmer than the air temperatures measured by weather thermometers.
NASA image created by Jesse Allen, Earth Observatory, using data provided courtesy of Dr. Z. Wan, MODIS Land Science Team.