Why Climate Change Is The Reason For Extreme Heatwaves
When I think about my childhood, it’s hard to imagine that it was ever hot. The days when I would run around outside without a care in the world are long gone. Now, extreme heatwaves are becoming more and more common. This is due to climate change—a phenomenon that is changing our planet’s climate system and bringing us warmer temperatures worldwide.
Climate Change Is Increasing The Likelihood Of Heatwaves And Extreme Heat
Extreme heat may seem like a minor inconvenience compared to other climate-related problems—but it’s a massive risk factor for plant and animal extinctions, droughts, wildfires, and other serious effects.
Climate change is gradually making the world hotter and drier, making extreme heat a bigger threat to human health and the environment.
Humans can adapt to some gradual changes in temperature and rainfall patterns, but we’re not prepared for sudden changes and disasters. We’re especially not ready for the kind of extreme heat that’s becoming more common in many parts of the world.
Some research has suggested that global warming could make some extreme weather events more common or more intense. But scientists are only just beginning to understand how climate change might affect specific kinds of events like heatwaves or droughts or heavy rainfalls or storms.
That’s partly because they’re not exactly sure what they should be looking for when they try to detect the fingerprints of climate change on extreme weather events—and partly because it can take years for scientists to understand what’s going on with any one event.
In Some Places, Days That Were Extremely Hot In The 1950s Are Now Normal
The climate is changing and it’s happening fast. The last decade was the hottest on record, and scientists predict that by 2100, global temperatures will rise by as much as 4°C above pre-industrial levels.
In some places, days that were extremely hot in the 1950s are now normal. In others, extreme heatwaves have become more likely.
The consequences of this warming are already being felt in many parts of the world. The number of extreme rainfall events has increased since the 1950s in many regions, including Europe and North America (though not in East Asia).
The number of droughts has also increased across large areas of the globe — especially in dry regions such as southern Africa — while floods have become more common over Eastern Europe and Central Asia.
Heatwaves have become more frequent and intense around the globe since 1980, with especially severe ones occurring across Europe in 2003 and 2010/2011.
These changes are affecting human health, agriculture, and ecosystems — with negative effects on food security expected to continue due to rising temperatures and other factors such as increasing CO2 emissions.
Global Warming Has Made The Effects Of Extreme Heat Worse
A heatwave is a period of hot weather that may last a day or more. Within the definition, the temperature exceeds the threshold for human comfort and becomes stressful to people who are exposed to it.
In some countries, the term “heatwave” is used less often than in others. Some governments have specific definitions for an “extreme heat event”, which often results in air temperatures rising above.
The frequency of heatwaves has increased over the last century, especially in Europe where they occur several times each summer. This increase has been linked to global warming by some scientists.
More heatwaves have occurred in our recent past than would have been expected without global warming.
The increase in extreme temperatures is a direct consequence of global warming. The basic physics behind this is well understood: as the concentration of greenhouse gases increases in the atmosphere more heat is trapped within it, increasing its temperature.
As the world warms, we’re experiencing more extreme heatwaves. The number of heatwaves has doubled since the 1950s, and the number of record-breaking heatwaves has tripled.
Climate Change Will Make Dealing With Drought More Difficult
Climate change is taking its toll on the world more quickly than any of us could have ever imagined. What was once thought to be a problem for future generations is now a reality. As it gets warmer, the climate becomes more volatile and weather norms are broken by extreme conditions.
With changing precipitation patterns due to climate change comes a shift in seasonal rainfall patterns. This means that some areas might get more rain while others get less. It also means that there will be an overall decrease in available freshwater resources as climate change intensifies over time.
According to the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world is facing the most serious consequences of climate change in human history.
We continue to pump carbon into our atmosphere and destroy our great forests, and we are also seeing dramatic changes in our environment.
As temperatures rise and extreme weather events become more frequent, it’s becoming increasingly more difficult for people to survive. The threat of drought and famine is very real.
This is especially true for those who live in developing countries that don’t have access to clean drinking water or modern farming methods.
There Are Medical Risks Associated With Higher Temperatures
While most people can tolerate heat without severe consequences, there are medical risks associated with higher temperatures. Depending on where you live, higher temperatures are a fact of life at some point during the summer.
A heatwave, especially when combined with high humidity, can cause a variety of health problems.
Heatstroke usually occurs when body temperature rises to 104°F (40°C) or higher and is accompanied by delirium or unconsciousness. Heatstroke can be deadly if not treated immediately.
Heat exhaustion occurs when your body is unable to compensate for the heat and you experience symptoms such as dizziness, weakness, nausea, or fainting.
If you experience these symptoms, seek medical attention immediately as heat exhaustion may progress into heatstroke if left untreated.
Heat cramps result from heavy sweating and loss of salt and water in the body. They most often occur in athletes who work out vigorously in hot weather and drink too much water before their bodies have had a chance to acclimate to the heat.
Fluid loss from diarrhoea can lead to dehydration if your fluid intake does not balance fluid output. Dehydration can lead to dizziness, fatigue, and muscle cramps if it goes untreated. Therefore, anyone experiencing these symptoms should seek medical attention immediately.
Heatwaves Are More Than Just A Minor Inconvenience
One thing that most people don’t realise is that heatwaves can be very dangerous. They are responsible for causing deaths, especially among the elderly. It’s quite tragic if a heat-related death occurs, as it could have easily been prevented.
There are many ways that you can help prevent heatstroke during extreme temperatures.
Stay Hydrated: Drink plenty of water throughout the day, especially if you’re out in the sun or exercising. You should also drink plenty of water before going to bed at night so that you’re well hydrated when you wake up in the morning.
Stay Cool: During periods of high temperatures, it’s important to stay as cool and comfortable as possible. Try to avoid being outside during peak hours (11 am to 4 pm) when it’s usually at its hottest temperature. Dress lightly and wear hats or headbands if needed!
Seek Shelter: If possible, try to find some form of shelter from the sun wherever possible – even if it means going inside an air-conditioned building for a few minutes!
The elderly are particularly susceptible to extreme temperatures because of their age and health conditions. For example, heart failure patients can experience arrhythmias during hot weather conditions, and this can lead to death.
Other factors such as dehydration and blood pressure problems also increase the risk of death during hot weather conditions.
This year’s extreme heatwaves fit in with the pattern of climate change, and they will become worse as time goes on.
The record-breaking heatwaves that have been scorching the northern hemisphere this summer are just a small taste of what’s in store for us as the climate changes.
The northern hemisphere is currently experiencing a heatwave that has broken dozens of records and left thousands dead or injured. In Japan, at least 41 people have died from heatstroke while working outdoors, while in France the government has declared a state of emergency after more than 60 people died in three days.
But this is just a tiny taste of what we could expect as the world continues to warm up due to human activity. In fact, extreme heatwaves will likely become commonplace by 2050.
“I think that’s almost a certainty,” says Professor Gabriele Hegerl from Edinburgh University’s school of geosciences. “If we look at our simulations for 2100, this is exactly what we see happening.”
Hegerl led research into how extreme weather events might change over time due to global warming — including heatwaves. She says the results show that as temperatures rise so do their frequency and severity.
Since climate change and global warming are directly related to the incidence of extreme weather, regular heatwaves are likely part of the new norm.
Climate change is a pressing topic, and it will continue to be so for a long time. As it does, changes in the environment will directly impact our lives in many ways. And the heatwaves are just a preview of what we have to look forward to.
We can keep this from getting worse by working hard to reduce our carbon output, but we have no way of stopping it altogether. That said, it’s still something that we should work toward every day.
It doesn’t matter how much time we have left; every day is important if we’re going to make any difference at all.