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Ice cream maker working overtime through heat wave

Employees at German ice cream maker Langnese are working around the clock to keep up with demand amid record summer heat, the company said on Monday.

Ice cream maker working overtime through heat wave
Photo: DPA

At the factory in Heppenheim, Hesse some 750 employees are working 24 hours a day, six days a week to insure that ice cream lovers both “big and small” have enough treats to stay cool.

Each day some 50 trucks leave the factory with the Magnum bars, Calippo push-up popsicles, and other frozen sweets – adding up to three 50-metre swimming pools worth of summer refreshment, the company said.

According to the statement, Germans are eating more ice cream this summer than they have since the blistering hot summer of 2003, averaging one Langnese bar per citizen in the sultry first two weeks of July.

“That’s a record amount,” said sourcing unit director Oliver Ackermann. “Each minute we’re producing 500 litres of Langnese ice cream at our Heppenheim factory.”

The summer heat wave of recent weeks in Germany – where air conditioning is rare – has brought sweltering temperatures of up to 39 degrees Celsius, with more highs in the mid-30s forecast for the coming week.

Click here for The Local’s weather forecast.

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WILDFIRES

Europe facing record year for wildfire destruction: EU

Europe's blistering summer may not be over yet, but 2022 is already breaking records, with nearly 660,000 hectares ravaged since January, according to the EU's satellite monitoring service.

Europe facing record year for wildfire destruction: EU

And while countries on the Mediterranean have normally been the main seats of fires in Europe, this year, other countries are also suffering heavily.

Fires this year have forced people to flee their homes, destroyed buildings and burned forests in EU countries, including Austria, Croatia, France, Greece, Italy, Portugal and Spain.

Some 659,541 hectares (1.6 million acres) have been destroyed so far, data from the European Forest Fire Information System (EFFIS) showed, setting a record at this point in the year since data collection began in 2006.

Europe has suffered a series of heatwaves, forest fires and historic drought that experts say are being driven by human-induced climate change.

They warn more frequent and longer heatwaves are on the way.

The worst-affected country has been Spain, where fire has destroyed 244,924 hectares, according to EFFIS data.

The EFFIS uses satellite data from the EU’s Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS).

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: How the climate crisis is hitting Europe hard

The data comes after CAMS said Friday that 2022 was a record year for wildfire activity in southwestern Europe and warned that a large proportion of western Europe was now in “extreme fire danger”.

“2022 is already a record year, just below 2017,” EFFIS coordinator Jesus San-Miguel said. In 2017, 420,913 hectares had burned by August 13, rising to 988,087 hectares by the end of the year.

“The situation in terms of drought and extremely high temperatures has affected all of Europe this year and the overall situation in the region is worrying, while we are still in the middle of the fire season,” he said.

Since 2010, there had been a trend towards more fires in central and northern Europe, with fires in countries that “normally do not experience fires in their territory”, he added.

“The overall fire season in the EU is really driven mainly by countries in the Mediterranean region, except in years like this one, in which fires also happen in central and northern regions,” he added.

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