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Worldwide heatwaves perpetuated by climate change

European cities Broke Temperature Records in Europe's Heat Wave in July 2019


Worldwide heatwaves perpetuated by climate change


By Patryk Krych | The World Daily | AUGUST 11th 2020


Records were broken across the globe in the latest battering of summertime heatwaves, with many concerned over the implications they may have in regards to the ongoing issue of climate change.

Living today in England, under the third day of ceaseless heat that I’d only ever before experienced on the exotic island of Madeira, or the heated peninsula of Greece, it’s clear that something’s off. Temperatures are soaring and breaking records, and though some may remain in denial of these sometimes-subtle changes, it’s impossible to refute the facts:

Last week, in Baghdad, the temperature soared to a record-breaking 52 degrees Celsius. The highest temperature ever recorded in Iraq, all under the severe summer heat wave that’s been plaguing most of the world. The heat in Baghdad had led to power surges, forcing many in the city to endure and try to outlast the heat without their usual air conditioning.

The previously set record in Baghdad, for the hottest temperature, was back in June of 2015 when the heat soared up to 51 degrees Celsius.

The Middle East isn’t the only place suffering. Similar problems are being had in the Western world, such as in France, where firefighters recently had to help put out a fire that’d blackened an entire wheat field. The farmer’s combine harvester couldn’t be salvaged either.

Scientists say that fires in France’s crop fields and forests are a yearly occurrence, and one that’s well expected during the country’s summertime. However, they warn that the growing threat of climate change means that the danger zone of these fires has seen expansion, from France’s Southern regions, to its Northern ones. A most unnatural change.

In these regions near the border of Belgium, where the combine harvester was destroyed, farmers say that concern over fires is something entirely new for them.

“It’s an occurrence that we weren’t seeing four or five years ago here,” said Benoit Vaillant, a farmer who runs a different farm in the same region of Northern France, along with his family. He added that last year, the moisture of the straw he grows had dropped by 9%. “That means that the straw is drier than the Sahara air. And so you put a spark in there and it catches fire, and with a bit of wind, it’s fanned and stoked.”

Scientists also say that this year has seen some minorly good fortune, as the fires hadn’t seen any incline from last year. This July, however, was found to be the driest one in France’s history since 60 years ago. Despite this, the situation remains dire.

“But if the drought persists and if there is a lot of wind, the situation could quickly get worse,” said Eric Martin, from France’s National Institute of Agriculture Research.

France’s temperatures have been sweltering between 35 and 40 degrees. Weather experts are also confirming the causation of the increased number and severity of heatwaves, assigning the blame to climate change. At the time of my writing this, a ‘red heatwave’ warning is being maintained by forecaster ‘Météo France’ for 15 of the country’s Northern departments. This is the highest level of severity that can be applied to a temperature warning in France.

According to a statistical analysis performed by Public Health England, at least 900 deaths were recorded in 2019 as a result of the high temperatures and heatwaves. This adds to the 3,400 total recorded within the last four years of England’s heat waves, that the cross-party committee of MPs warned the UK was “woefully unprepared” for.

This claim may be taken with a good dose of criticism, however, since the same year, the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) had stated that since as far back as 2015, it’d been trying to recommend an overhaul in building regulations to ensure homes, hospitals and schools don’t overheat during the summer period.

“The government needs to take much more seriously the dangers of hot weather. The threat of deadly heatwaves is growing due to climate change and the death toll is likely to rise unless there is strong action,” said Bob Ward, at the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change at the London School of Economics.

According to research and analysis performed by the World Meteorological Organization, it’s been confirmed that 2019 was the second hottest year on record after 2016. With the way things are going, it’s highly likely that the year 2020 will come close, if not beat the previously set records for yearly temperatures.

Climate change is an issue that affects everybody, and it grows on a daily basis, the more it’s ignored. Few could attest to its realism in the past, when its results on the environment and agriculture weren’t yet obvious. In the modern era, it’s having a daily impact that can be observed. If more people aren’t made aware of the severity of the crisis, the numbers of heatwave-related deaths in places such as the UK, once stereotyped for its rainy weather, could see a drastic jump yet again.


By Patryk Krych | © The World Daily 2020