Unprecedented heat burns the US, Europe, China

WASHINGTON: Summer has just begun in the Northern Hemisphere but extreme heat has already begun in parts of Europe, China and the United States, where the heat expected this weekend is an ominous picture of the dangers of the warming climate.
An extreme heat advisory has been issued to more than 100 million Americans by the National Weather Service to forecast extreme weather conditions, especially in Arizona, California, Nevada and Texas.
Several European countries, including France, Germany, Italy, Spain and Poland, are also burning due to extreme heat.
Greece said its main tourist attraction, the Acropolis, will close during the heatwave on Friday as temperatures are expected to reach 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) in Athens.
The mercury could rise to 48C (118.4F) on the islands of Sicily and Sardinia, the European Space Agency said – “probably the hottest temperature in all of Europe.”
Rain has started again in North Africa and the meteorological service in Morocco issued a very red warning for the southern parts of the country.
Some parts of China, including the capital Beijing, are experiencing extreme heat and China’s largest power company said its daily power output had peaked on Monday.
Parts of eastern Japan are also expected to reach 38 to 39C (100.4 to 102.2F) on Sunday and Monday, with the Japan Meteorological Agency warning of record temperatures.
Last month was the hottest June on record, according to the US space agency NASA and the European Union’s Copernicus Climate Change Service.
Extreme weather due to heat is “unfortunately becoming unusual,” warns the Secretary-General of the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) Petteri Taalas.
Extreme heat is one of the deadliest meteorological phenomena, according to the WMO. A recent study estimates that more than 61,000 people died from heatstroke in Europe’s hottest summer last year.
This year’s hot weather is due to a weather known as El Nino.
El Nino events, which occur every two to seven years, are characterized by warmer than average temperatures in the Pacific Ocean near the Equator, and last for nine to 12 months.
North America has already seen extreme weather events this summer, with smoke from wildfires continuing to burn in Canada and causing air pollution in much of the United States.
The northeastern US, especially Vermont, has also recently been hit by torrential rains that have caused flooding.
According to meteorologists, global warming will lead to more and more frequent rainfall.
Right now, residents of much of the southern United States have been dealing with persistent heat for several weeks.
Daniel Swain, a climate scientist at the University of California, Los Angeles, said the temperature in Death Valley could match or exceed the record for the hottest air temperature ever measured on Earth.
The official WMO record is 56.7C (134F) recorded in Death Valley, in the southern desert of California. But this was measured in 1913 and Swain represents 54.4C (130F) from 2020 and 2021.
The seas were also spared from the early summer heat.
Water temperatures off the coast of southern Florida have exceeded 32C (90F), according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
As for the Mediterranean, surface temperatures will be “very high” in the coming days and weeks, the WMO said, exceeding 30C (86F) in some areas, several degrees above average.
Warming oceans can have devastating effects on marine life in terms of survival and migration and disrupt the fishing industry.
At the other end of the world, Antarctic sea ice reached its lowest point in June.
The world has warmed by about 1.2C (1.9F) since the mid-1800s, causing more extreme heat waves, more severe droughts in some areas and stronger storms due to sea level rise.
The WMO’s Taalas said the current warming “underscores the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as quickly and as deeply as possible.”

Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *