World Entering 'New Climate Regime' of Extreme Heat Waves Caused by Human-Induced Climate Change
At a Glance
- Soaring temperatures are becoming more frequent, and according to the study, will only get worse in the years to come.
- The world can expect to see extreme heat waves occurring two out of every three years even if global warming stops at 1.5 degrees Celsius.
- The world will experience extreme heat waves every year if global warming tops 2 degrees Celsius.
The world is entering a "new climate regime" in which "extraordinary" global-scale heat waves that cannot be explained other than by human-induced climate change become the norm, a new study says.
Between May and July 2018, 22 percent of the population in the Northern Hemisphere experienced extreme heat waves that would not have occurred without human-induced climate change, according to researchers for the study published this week in the journal Earth’s Future.
Using newspaper articles about heat-related impacts, observations and climate models, the researchers concluded that heat waves will likely reach "highly dangerous levels" over the coming decades.
Soaring temperatures are becoming more frequent and according to the study, will only get worse in the years to come.
"In the future, the intensity, frequency and global heat wave area over land are projected to drastically increase," the author's wrote.
The authors note that should global warming be halted at 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the world can expect to see extreme heat waves occurring two out of every three years. If global warming tops 2 degrees Celsius, the world will experience extreme heat waves every year.
Scorching heat is becoming a mainstay throughout the world with some cities seeing the highest monthly temperatures in history.
On Monday, India's capital city, New Delhi, reached a stifling 118.4 degrees Fahrenheit, the highest recorded temperature for June in that city; while in the Rajasthan desert city of Churu, the temperature climbed to 123.4 degrees on Saturday, just shy of the country’s all-time high of 123.8 degrees.
Also this week, a heat wave in south Texas sent temperatures into the triple digits, topping one all-time June record and pushing heat indices above 120 degrees in some locations. A similar scenario was taking place earlier this week along the West Coast, where temperatures reached 100 degrees at the San Francisco International Airport, the highest temperatures recorded for any month other than September.
Mike Rantanen, a meteorologist at the University of Helsinki, tweeted last week that there “are no known cases in Finland’s climate history when it has been hotter than now so early in the summer."