Heat waves are hitting all over the world. Scientists say climate change is making them more frequent

As much of the nation suffocates under temperatures that canceled outdoor sportssparked forest fires and taxed infrastructure to keep people cool, experts warn that heat waves will only become more common.

Heat waves are just one of the types of extreme weather changes that are becoming more frequent – ​​but they have already caused deaths in the US and around the world this year.

“This is the climate change that scientists have promised us,” Michal Nachmany, founder of Climate Policy Radar, told CBS News foreign correspondent Ramy Inocencio about record temperatures in the UK this week.

“This level of extreme weather is life threatening, and we really want to make sure that people are under no illusions, that this is serious and that it is here to stay for the foreseeable future,” said Nachmany.

In Phoenix, for example, heat kills as many people as homicides, said David Hondula, the city’s director of heat response and mitigation. CBS News‘Ben Tracy.

Climate scientist Daniel Swain, who writes about weather in the western US on his website, pointed out last week that what he called “a prolonged and locally intense heat wave across western North America in the coming weeks” it is “the least extreme event of its kind currently underway on several continents”, including Europe and China.

The Associated Press reports that heat waves in China earlier this month — specifically in Zhejiang province east of Shanghai — saw temperatures in excess of 42 degrees Celsius (up to 107 degrees Fahrenheit). The heat also hospitalized people in Henang, Sichuan and Heilongiang provinces.

The human cost of heat this year is rising both around the world and closer to home. In North Texas, where firefighters fought 780% more fires in July compared to last year – and officials said a 66-year-old woman died of heat-related causes this week – La Niña is helping to drive drought and high heat conditions.

“We have a pretty significant drought across North and Central Texas. That drought has us going into summer much earlier than we normally see,” Sarah Barnes, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service’s office in Fort Worth, Texas, told CBS News. ‘ Kris Van Cleve.

These drought conditions trigger warmer temperatures, the NWS said.

“We are certainly seeing more extreme weather due to climate change,” added Barnes.

While the air conditioner is one of the best ways to stay cool, is not common everywhere. And when the power goes out, so does the air conditioning.

“The number of blackouts per year has doubled in the last five years, and most blackouts are happening in the summer, in hot climates,” said Brian Stone, a professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology who studies urban climate. change, told CBS Moneywatch earlier this year.

Inside Texas, the power grid has already been taxed by extreme temperatures this summer – and officials in other states notify your energy infrastructure could be too.

“Most summers these days are the hottest summers ever. What overlays that is just a growing risk of outdated infrastructure … and these trends are converging at the wrong time,” Stone said.

This week the UK records record 40 degrees Celsiusor about 104 Fahrenheit — 30 degrees warmer than typical summer temperatures in a country where less than 5 percent of homes are estimated to have air conditioning, reports CBS News foreign correspondent Roxana Saberi.

“Climate change is all about the extreme weather we’re seeing right now, and it’s human-induced climate change. It’s not a natural variation,” Kirsty McCabe, a meteorologist at the UK’s Royal Meteorological Society, told CBS News. . correspondent Roxana Saberi.

Extreme heat has contributed to bushfires in the UK and across Europe – including France, Spain, Italy, Greece and Portugal.

“We used to look at polar bears and then we used to say, ‘This is about our children and grandchildren,'” Nachmany said. “This isn’t. This is us. This is here. This is now.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.