Europe's hot winter spurs climate fear, gas relief
STORY: It's beach weather in parts of southern Europe... in January.
Swimmers and sunbathers were out Wednesday in the Spanish resort of Malaga.
That as temperature records tumble across the continent.
Over New Year in Bilbao, in northern Spain, the mercury hit 25.1 Celsius, or about 77 Fahrenheit.
Ski resorts in the region are shut due to a lack of snow.
The warmth left tourists outside the Guggenheim museum with mixed feelings.
“Yeah, it’s nice weather for biking, but we know the planet is burning, so we are enjoying, but at the same time, yes, it’s scary.”
Many see the warm weather as further evidence of climate change.
Greenpeace says the January heatwave is proof that it’s time to end dependence on fossil fuels.
But the warmth also offers some relief for European governments.
They’ve been struggling to cope with soaring gas prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
Now the hot spell has reduced demand for gas for heating, sending energy costs lower again.
On Wednesday, Europe’s benchmark gas price had dropped back to pre-war levels.
Italy’s energy authority, for one, has predicted bills will fall as a result.
That should mean European governments don't have to spend as much on capping charges for consumers.
In Bilbao, locals just aren't sure what to make of it all.
It’s not normal, says this man, it should be cold and rainy at this time of year.