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World World faces growing threat of 'unbearable' heatwaves

08:06  28 october  2021
08:06  28 october  2021 Source:   afp.com

Lebanon's car culture questioned in crisis

  Lebanon's car culture questioned in crisis By challenging Lebanon's national passion for automobile ownership, and driving growing numbers towards greener or more collective transport, the economic crisis is succeeding where everything else failed. In the absence of a functioning public transport system, car culture has thrived and many households, even modest ones, boast multiple vehicles. Since 2019, however, an ever worsening financial crisis has made petrol unaffordable for many and long queues at gas stations unbearable for the rest.One of the by-products of Lebanon's historic shortages and currency crisis is the first meaningful dent in decades in the reign of the private automobile.

Half a world away in western Canada, where a so-called " heat dome" pushed temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius this summer, north Vancouver resident Rosa lamented: "It’s just unbearable . It’s impossible to be out." Rising temperatures are a driving force behind more frequent and intense And the rising number of heatwaves is devastating for farming and agriculture and potentially fatal for humans. "A flood is a few deaths, maybe a few dozen. We're talking about thousands of deaths every time we have a very large extreme heatwave . And we know that these heatwaves are multiplying

A new study has found that 30 percent of the world ’s population is currently exposed to potentially deadly heat for 20 days per year or more—and like a growing forest fire, climate change is spreading this extreme heat . Dangerous heatwaves are far more common than anyone realized, killing people in more than 60 different parts of the world every year. Notable deadly heatwaves include the 2010 Moscow event that killed at least 10,000 people and the 1995 Chicago heatwave , where 700 people died of heat -related causes.

From Death Valley to the Middle East, the Indian subcontinent to sub-Saharan Africa, global warming has already made daily life unbearable for millions of people.

If nothing is done to slow climate change, the record temperatures and deadly heatwaves it brings will only get worse, experts warn © Frederic J. BROWN If nothing is done to slow climate change, the record temperatures and deadly heatwaves it brings will only get worse, experts warn

And if nothing is done to slow climate change, the record temperatures and deadly heatwaves it brings will only get worse, experts warn.

Another year of scorching temperatures from the Middle East to sub-Saharan Africa and from Europe to the Indian subcontinent has experts increasingly worried. If nothing is done to slow climate change, record-breaking temperatures and deadly heatwaves will only become more frequent and intense, research has shown.  © Robin SIMMONDS Another year of scorching temperatures from the Middle East to sub-Saharan Africa and from Europe to the Indian subcontinent has experts increasingly worried. If nothing is done to slow climate change, record-breaking temperatures and deadly heatwaves will only become more frequent and intense, research has shown. "Climate (change) is sort of steroids for the weather. It’s loading the dice to make these sort of extreme events be more common," says Zeke Hausfather, a climate expert at the Breakthrough Institute in California. A recent study found that if the world keeps emitting at the same levels, in less than 30 years time some parts of the Middle East and North Africa will experience long periods of extreme heat of such magnitude that during these times life outdoors will be almost impossible to bear.

"Climate (change) is sort of steroids for the weather. It’s loading the dice to make these sort of extreme events be more common," said Zeke Hausfather, a climate expert at the Breakthrough Institute in California.

Climate migration predicted to rise in India amid extreme weather

  Climate migration predicted to rise in India amid extreme weather Study says droughts, floods and heatwaves fuelling climate migration as nation’s poorest are forced to abandon homes.In a survey of more than 1,000 households across three Indian states published on Tuesday, nearly 70 percent of respondents said they migrated immediately after such weather disasters occur, found the International Institute for Environment and Development (IIED).

With the number of infections still on the rise globally and no end yet in sight, health authorities in many countries have warned that people might take off their face masks in crowded areas and go to beaches and lakes to seek refuge from the sweltering weather, thereby worsening the virus pandemic, Kyodo reports. In the United States, which has the world 's highest number of coronavirus cases and deaths, many areas have seen intense heat waves including the city of Phoenix, Arizona, where it was 47.2 C last Friday. George Rutherford, an epidemiology professor at the University of California at San

Heatwaves occur across northern Europe when high atmospheric pressure draws up hot air from northern Africa, Portugal and Spain, raising temperatures and increasing humidity. Timothy Hewson, who leads a forecasting team at the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF), said clear skies added to the strength of the sunshine, further increasing temperatures. He said dry soil conditions also contributed, as this resulted in less evaporation, which ordinarily cools the ground.

The hottest place in the world is officially Death Valley, California. There too, temperatures are rising.

"If you look at the average temperature in Death Valley for a summer month (...) it has gotten much warmer in the last 20 years than it was before," said Abby Wines, spokesperson for the Death Valley National Park.

Experts say even heat-tolerant animals, for example some camels or goats, will be affected by rising temperatures © Rania SANJAR Experts say even heat-tolerant animals, for example some camels or goats, will be affected by rising temperatures

This summer, for the second year in a row, the area registered an astonishing 54.4 degrees Celsius. If confirmed by the World Meteorological Organization, it would be the hottest temperature ever recorded with modern instruments.

In Canada a so-called © Andrej Ivanov In Canada a so-called "heat dome" pushed temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius in the country's west this summer

- Hottest month ever -

Climate change threatens Greek wetlands and ancient livelihoods

  Climate change threatens Greek wetlands and ancient livelihoods Rising temperatures have had devastating effects on the economy and other aspects of life in Greece.The 52-year-old fisherman, his 17-year-old son Alexis, and a hired hand, Thomas, live in a wooden shack on stilts in the middle of the Messolonghi Lagoon, in southwest Greece.

This is a partial list of temperature phenomena that have been labeled as heat waves , listed in order of occurrence. 1540 European drought - Extreme drought and heatwave lasting 11 months in Europe.

The Middle East is warming faster than much of the world , leaving Kuwaitis struggling with everyday life. The Middle East is warming faster than much of the world , and Kuwait is careering towards unbearable temperatures. With the mercury topping 53C, three Kuwaiti citizens - an influencer, a weather forecaster and a retired civil servant - raise the alarm. They urge that Kuwait must not be allowed to get any hotter - and one of them has a solution to offer.

According to the US climate agency NOAA, July 2021 was the hottest month ever recorded on Earth.

"We are affected a lot by this unbearable heat, and we poor are hit the hardest," said Kuldeep Kaur, a resident of Sri Ganganagar in the northern Indian state of Rajasthan, bordering Pakistan.

Half a world away in western Canada, where a so-called "heat dome" pushed temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius this summer, north Vancouver resident Rosa lamented: "It’s just unbearable. It’s impossible to be out."

Rising temperatures are a driving force behind more frequent and intense droughts, wildfires, storms, and even floods. And the rising number of heatwaves is devastating for farming and agriculture and potentially fatal for humans.

"A flood is a few deaths, maybe a few dozen. We're talking about thousands of deaths every time we have a very large extreme heatwave. And we know that these heatwaves are multiplying," said climatologist Robert Vautard, head of France's Pierre-Simon Laplace Institute.

'Moment of truth' as world meets for climate summit

  'Moment of truth' as world meets for climate summit COP26 begins in Glasgow, amid dire warnings for the future if urgent climate action is not taken.The highly anticipated COP26 climate change summit begins in the Scottish city of Glasgow on Sunday.

Third of World Faces Deadly Heat Waves . Scorching heat grounded planes in parts of the U.S. on Monday, the same day researchers released a study that finds the globe is only getting hotter and, as a result, potentially deadlier. Currently, nearly a third of the world 's population is exposed to lethal climate conditions for at least 20 days a year, according to findings published Monday in Nature Climate Change, a monthly peer-reviewed journal.

Heat waves are becoming more common, and intense heatwaves are more frequent in the U.S. West, although in many parts of the country the 1930s still holds the record for number of heat waves (caused by the Dust Bowl and other factors). By midcentury, if greenhouse gas emissions are not significantly curtailed, the coldest and warmest daily temperatures are expected to increase by at least 5 degrees F in most areas by mid-century rising to 10 degrees F by late century. The National Climate Assessment estimates 20-30 more days over 90 degrees F in most areas by mid-century. A recent study projects that the annual

Rising temperatures are a driving force behind more frequent and intense droughts, wildfires, storms, and even floods © CRISTINA QUICLER Rising temperatures are a driving force behind more frequent and intense droughts, wildfires, storms, and even floods

If the world warms by two degrees Celsius, a quarter of the world’s population could face severe heatwaves at least once every five years, according to a draft UN report obtained by AFP ahead of the COP26 climate summit opening October 31 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Iraq's marshes are also at risk from increased temperatures © Asaad NIAZI Iraq's marshes are also at risk from increased temperatures

- Agriculture threatened -

For the Bedouins of Saudi Arabia, heat is only too familiar.

"I think it’s at least 43 degrees Celsius now, and it's only 8:30-9:00 am," said Saudi Bedouin Nayef al-Shammari, adding that it can reach 50 degrees during the day.

"But we've got used to it, it's normal for us, we're not (...) worried about it."

The family of the 51-year-old and his father Saad, 75, have lived and worked in the Al Nufud Al-Kabir desert raising camels for generations.

But as temperatures rise to life-threatening levels their livelihood and culture could soon be under threat.

"Even heat-tolerant animals in the region, for example some camels or goats, will be also affected, agriculture will be also affected, so this extreme heat will affect food production,' said George Zittis of the Cyprus Institute in Nicosia.

- 'Catastrophic' consequences -

Legend has it that the marshes that straddle the famous Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Iraq were home to the biblical Garden of Eden.

They too could soon be at risk.

"The temperatures above 50 degrees affect the fish, they affect animals, people and tourism,” said local boat owner Razak Jabbar, who is considering leaving the marshland where he grew up.

With deadly heatwaves increasingly a fact of life across the globe, many are pinning hopes on Glasgow.

"COP26 this November must mark the turning point. By then we need all countries to commit to achieve net zero emissions by the middle of the century, and to present clear, credible, long-term strategies to get there," said UN chief Antonio Guterres.

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'It kills me inside': Activists sound alarm on climate anxiety .
From Bangladesh to Britain to Nigeria, many young campaigners on the frontlines of the global fight for climate justice now face a new problem: the impact the crisis is having on their mental health. In Johannesburg, clinical psychologist Garret Barnwell showed sympathy and understanding for the young people facing difficult emotions over the crisis. "It's a reality that children are facing this changing world. They're experiencing fear, anger, hopelessness, helplessness," Barnwell said.

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