The image shows the world record for July 20 in relation to the air temperature at 2 meters above the surface. It is part of a follow-up of the Climate Change Institute of the University of Maine in the USA (Climate Change Institute – University of Maine)
Intense heat is gripping large areas of the northern hemisphere. Three continents are facing heat waves with extreme temperatures: North America, Europe and Asia.
The situation made the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) highlight that it is urgent to reduce greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere because they are to blame for increasing the planet’s temperatures, which in turn increase the frequency of heat waves.
The current extreme temperatures are expected to last until today, July 20, before a slightly less warm air mass moves in from the north. However, this relief may be short-lived, as another period of extreme heat is expected between July 23 and 25, the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts has warned.
In Europe there will be another period of extreme heat between July 23 and 25, according to the European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane/File Photo)
“Extreme weather conditions – an increasingly prevalent phenomenon in our warming climate – are having major impacts on human health, ecosystems, economies, agriculture, and energy and water supplies. This underscores the growing urgency to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as quickly and deeply as possible,” said WMO Secretary-General Professor Petteri Taalas.
In Europe, much of Italy is in the heat, with temperatures expected to hit 40 degrees Celsius in the center and south of the country. High temperatures and strong winds have also caused forest fires in coastal cities in Greece, the Canary Islands and a coastal town in Croatia.
In Athens, peaks of 45°C were recorded and the government announced that archeological sites, including the Acropolis, will remain closed during the hottest hours of the day due to a new heat wave.
A third of the territory of Spain is at very extreme risk of fire due to the heat wave that Europe is experiencing and the drought, according to Copernicus, the European Union’s emergency management service.
In Europe, temperatures are recorded that are at the limit of the conditions that a person can experience / European Center for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts
The sweltering temperatures have also reached China and the Middle East, where the heat index has reached life-threatening levels. This index measures how hot it is outside taking into account temperature and humidity. In Iran, the Persian Gulf International Airport experienced a record heat of 66.7°C last Sunday, recorded at noon.
Meanwhile, nearly two dozen major US cities, from Las Vegas, Nevada to Austin, Texas to Miami, Florida, are already forecasting dangerous levels of daily heat for the next week.
Over the next week, the vast majority of the continental United States will face at least a slight risk of excessive heat, according to the National Weather Service Climate Prediction Center. Increased risks are expected in parts of the Southwest and Midwest.
The climate also suffers from natural variations, and the most famous of them, the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO), is contributing to warming (REUTERS/Guglielmo Mangiapane)
It’s been less than two weeks since planet Earth recorded the hottest days in its modern history, and the extreme heat wave is still raging across much of the Northern Hemisphere.
Temperatures in North America, parts of Asia, and across North Africa and the Mediterranean have been above 40C for an extended number of days this week.
These types of phenomena, heat waves, are very worrying due to their impacts on both human and animal health as well as the social and economic consequences, and have multiplied by six since the 1980s, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). ).
June saw the warmest global average temperature on record, which continued through July, according to preliminary figures (Rob Schumacher/USA Today Network via REUTERS)
The experts explained that the record temperatures that are being recorded in July are due to the emissions of gases that trap heat, which are mainly caused by the burning of fossil fuels (such as oil, gas, and coal).
The conditions are also already in place for the El Niño phenomenon to develop, a cyclical meteorological pattern, which increases the temperatures of the Pacific Ocean and may increase the risk of droughts and floods in different regions of the planet.
Dr Karsten Haustein, from the German Climate Services Center, commented on what is known about why heat waves are occurring in the Northern Hemisphere: “The North Atlantic region is especially hot (in fact, a heat record for a Wide margin). This is partly due to the weak Azorean high and associated trade winds, which have reduced dust production in North Africa. As a reaction, ocean waters can get warmer than usual.”
The expert explained that “it is not clear whether or not the El Niño phenomenon is to blame for the weak high in the Azores, but it could have played a role (due to the so-called global teleconnection patterns in the atmosphere).”
Intense heat is observed on a map projected by specialist Patricio Valderrama.
Another factor that is being debated “is the impact of reducing emissions from ships due to the change in regulations in 2020. The decrease in refrigerant aerosols from ships could have contributed to temporarily accelerating warming. This is also true in the North Pacific, while El Niño is warming the central Pacific.”
Of course, Karsten stressed, the main driver of the record warming is human-induced climate change, with land temperatures reaching record values in several places as an inevitable consequence. And he added: “The warmer the global average temperature, the more intense – and therefore longer – heat waves become.”
The UN said that the world will suffer more intense heat waves and warned that night temperatures are more dangerous “Hells on Earth”: in which parts of the world the extreme heat wave hits the hardest What warn scientists who detected record levels of polluting gases in the planet