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Wet weather dampens French lust: survey

Rain and low temperatures this summer have put a damper on French libidos in the northern half of the country, a recent survey reveals. 

Huddled in their raincoats, or sitting tight under their umbrellas, the French are not enjoying summer 2012.

In the northern half of the country, the weather has been particularly bad with temperatures sinking as low as 11 degrees Celsius, well below the seasonal average of 20 degrees.

And it seems the miserable weather has seeped all the way into French bedrooms. 61 percent of respondents in northern France say the weather has quelled their desire for sex,according to a poll by the dating website Gleeden.com.

Some 57 percent of men admit they are less interested in sex while 65 percent of women say the inclement conditions have proved a major turn-off.

In the south of France, where the weather has been warm and sunny in recent weeks, respondents were a lot more positive. A majority of interviewees in Cannes, Marseille and Montpellier said they were satisfied with their sex life.

More generally, 80 percent of the people interviewed said the weather affected their sex drive.  

Gleeden, which bills itself as a dating site for married people, based its results an on-line survey of 1,501 respondents in the 30-55 age group.

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CLIMATE CRISIS

Scorching summer was France’s second hottest on record

Three heatwaves since June produced France's second-hottest summer since records began in 1900, the Météo France weather service said on Tuesday, warning that scorching temperatures will be increasingly common as the climate crisis intensifies.

Scorching summer was France's second hottest on record

With 33 days of extreme heat overall, average temperatures for June, July and August were 2.3C above normal for the period of 1991-2020.

It was surpassed only by the 2003 heatwave that caught much of France unprepared for prolonged scorching conditions, leading to nearly 15,000 heat-related deaths, mainly among the elderly.

Data is not yet available for heat-related deaths this summer, but it is likely to be significantly lower than 15,000 thanks to preventative measures taken by local and national authorities. 

Most experts attribute the rising temperatures to the climate crisis, with Météo France noting that over the past eight summers in France, six have been among the 10-hottest ever.

By 2050, “we expect that around half of summer seasons will be at comparable temperatures, if not higher,” even if greenhouse gas emissions are contained, the agency’s research director Samuel Morin said at a press conference.

The heat helped drive a series of wildfires across France this summer, in particular a huge blaze in the southwest that burned for more than a month and blackened 20,000 hectares. 

Unusually, wildfires also broke out even in the normally cooler north of the country, and in total an area five times the size of Paris burned over the summer. 

Adding to the misery was a record drought that required widespread limits on water use, with July the driest month since 1961 – many areas still have water restrictions in place.

MAP: Where in France are there water restrictions and what do they mean?

Forecasters have also warned that autumn storms around the Mediterranean – a regular event as air temperatures cool – will be unusually intense this year because of the very high summer temperatures. A storm that hit the island of Corsica in mid August claimed six lives. 

“The summer we’ve just been through is a powerful call to order,” Prime Minister Elisabeth Borne said on Monday, laying out her priorities for an “ecological planning” programme to guide France’s efforts against climate change.

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