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Burning planet: why are the world’s heatwaves getting more intense?

 Burning planet: why are the world’s heatwaves getting more intense? When
the temperature readings started to come through from Antarctic weather
stations in early March, scientists at first thought there might have been
some mistake.

At the north pole, similarly unusual temperatures were also
being recorded, astonishing for the time of year when the Arctic should be
slowly emerging from its winter deep freeze. The region was more than 3C
warmer than its long-term average, researchers said. To induce a heatwave
at one pole may be regarded as a warning; heatwaves at both poles at once
start to look a lot like climate catastrophe.

Since then, weather stations
around the world have seen their mercury rising like a global Mexican wave.
A heatwave struck India and Pakistan in March, bringing the highest
temperatures in that month since records began 122 years ago.

Scientists have been able quickly to prove that these record-breaking temperatures are
no natural occurrence. A study published last month showed that the south
Asian heatwave was made 30 times more likely to happen by human influence
on the climate. This type of heat poses a serious threat to human health,
directly as it puts stress on our bodies, and indirectly as it damages
crops, causes wildfires and even harms our built environment, such as roads
and buildings.

Poor people suffer most, as they are the ones out in fields
or in factories, or on the street without shelter in the midst of the heat,
and they lack the luxury of air-conditioning when they get home. Katharine
Hayhoe, chief scientist for the Nature Conservancy, told the Observer.
“If we continue with business-as-usual greenhouse gas emissions, there is
no adaptation that is possible. You just can’t.”

 Observer 18th June 2022


June 20, 2022 - Posted by | 2 WORLD, climate change

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