The Climate Council, an Australian nonprofit organization, has found that the world now sees twice as many days over 50C than it did in 1960. Climate change is causing more extreme weather conditions around the globe and these new findings are yet another reason to be concerned about its effects on our planet.
As smog and heatwaves choke cities everywhere, we take a look at some of the worst of times around the world.
- Ten deaths during 2016 heatwave in Karachi, Pakistan
- 5280 people left homeless in Moscow after 2010 heatwave destroyed their houses
- 65,000 livestock dead in Mongolia in 2015, when temperatures hit 40C for 15 days straight because of El Niño phenomenon. Weather officials said it was the warmest winter on record since 1900 when records began being kept in the country’s capital Ulan Bator . It led to power cuts across Ulan Bator, which experienced its coldest March temperature in 30 years according to news reports at the time . Children were also forced to take their lessons indoors across the city because schools could not operate without power.
- 11,000 lives lost in Europe 2003 when a heatwave hit
- 12,760 excess deaths during the US 1995 heatwave caused by high temperatures and humidity levels . A report said that 739 of those people would have lived if there was no higher than normal temperature during that period according to National Centre for Health Statistics . The worst affected states were Ohio with 3,640 deaths and Indiana with 1,381 excess deaths according to Bmj.com . The death rate in both states increased by 31% compared with non-heat wave days.”
- ” Deaths in Chicago from July 13-17 1995 “doubled” when heat index-what it feels like outside-reached more than 125 degrees Fahrenheit. The report said that the death rate increased by 58% “during a six day period of extreme heat and humidity.”
- More than 2,000 deaths during 2003 European heatwave . More people died in France alone (1420) compared to 1995. An estimated 70,000 more people died from cardiovascular disease as a result of the long hot summer which had temperatures reaching up to 104F on some days, according to National Center for Disease Control and Prevention website . A Bmj study also warned that climate change could cause excess mortality of around 57,000 per year in Europe if global warming is not reduced. It said that large sections of western Europe, especially the Mediterranean areas, are more likely to experience heat stress. The study also said that countries on low latitudes could face less heat stress than northern Europe due to potentially lower levels of warming, but added that some regions may see more warming which would cause an increase in people vulnerable to heat-related death .
- Deaths during Texas 1979 heatwave were estimated at between 400 and 500 while 281 fatalities occurred during 1994 US East Coast summer .
- ” One billion people will be affected by temperatures above 21C (70F) for an increasing amount of time according to Climate Risk.org .” This means there will be a higher risk of dying from cardiovascular disease because “when the mercury rises above 26C (79F), heart attack rates jump nearly 10% compared with days when it is cooler,” according to Bmj.com .
- ” An estimated 70,000 more people died from cardiovascular disease as a result of the long hot summer in 2003 according to National Center for Disease Control and Prevention website .” This was caused by “heat stress” which had temperatures hitting 104F some days that year. The majority of deaths were European citizens above 65 years old.
- 739 people who would have lived if there was no higher than normal temperature during 1995 heatwave in Chicago , United States. This means some heatwaves can be too deadly even without hotter temperatures because of increased humidity levels or smog which were nonexistent before industrialization. High humidity levels reduce sweat evaporation, which means the body becomes dehydrated and overheated easily. The US National Library of Medicine said that heat stress is a “major environmental health problem,” especially in cities where high rise buildings trap heat from increasing temperatures especially during summer.
- Heatwave warnings have been issued for this weekend all over Europe . World Meteorological Organization (WMO) spokeswoman Claire Nullis warned it could be one of the worst to ever hit many countries over record temperatures , according to Guardian Unlimited . This comes after last year’s European summer forced authorities to cancel events like music festivals because people were dying from increased humidity levels at night when temperatures reached 95F (35C). A Bmj study warned that climate change could cause excess mortality of around 57,000 per year in Europe if global warming is not reduced. It said that large sections of western Europe, especially the Mediterranean areas, are more likely to experience heat stress.
- Heatwaves have been seen as one of those health risks , and they will be more deadly than before with climate change because there will be an increase of cases like high blood pressure which leads to cardiovascular disease, according to World Health Organization (WHO). Dr. Maria Neira, head of public health issues at WHO told Reuters: “We think we can shorten the life span by decades due to heatwave-related problems.” She added that research showed that mortality rates double when temperatures soar above 86F (30C) compared to below 68F (20C).
According to Campaign Against Climate Change (CACC), heatwaves have been more deadly than droughts, floods and other natural disasters combined . This is because there has been a decrease in deaths from droughts and famines due to the increase of international aid for countries facing those issues. However, “unbearably high” temperatures can affect many more people.
739 people who would have lived if there was no higher than normal temperature during 1995 heatwave in Chicago, United States. This means some heatwaves can be too deadly even without hotter temperatures because of increased humidity levels or smog which were nonexistent before industrialization.” Heat stress reduces sweat evaporation, which means the body becomes dehydrated and overheated easily. Europeans would bear the brunt of these increased deaths because they live in countries where it is hotter and poorer than others. As the World Health Organization (WHO) website says: “Of all the major regions of the world, Europe stands out as experiencing the largest proportionate increase in temperature.”
“There should be more research done on why we should reduce climate change to prevent further increases in heatwave-related health problems.”
Dr. Joseph Alcamo, chief scientist at UN Environment Programme(UNEP), said that this summer’s heatwaves could be even worse than expected. He told Reuters
I am particularly worried about people who work outdoors like construction workers and farmers, as well as those who lack access to air conditioning and fans,” said Dr. Alcamo
“It is essential to ensure they have access to cooling centers and drinking water when the heat hits.” “Heatwaves can be very deadly and this may well prove to be one of the most serious threats from climate change if we fail to mitigate its effects,” Dr. Alcamo added.” 16.The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) website said that Europeans would bear the brunt of these increased deaths because they live in countries where it is hotter and poorer than others.