Extreme heat, rainfall highlight need for more climate action
Baku, July 15, AZERTAC
Intense heat is gripping large parts of the Northern hemisphere, whilst heavy precipitation has caused devastating floods and loss of life in several other regions. June saw the warmest global average temperature on record, which has continued into the first part of July according to preliminary figures, according to the official website of WMO.
“The extreme weather – an increasingly frequent occurrence in our warming climate – is having a major impact on human health, ecosystems, economies, agriculture, energy and water supplies. This underlines the increasing urgency of cutting greenhouse gas emissions as quickly and as deeply as possible,” said WMO Secretary-General Prof. Petteri Taalas.
“In addition, we have to step up efforts to help society adapt to what is unfortunately becoming the new normal. The WMO community is providing forecasts and warnings to protect lives and livelihoods as we strive to achieve our goal of Early Warnings for All,” said Prof. Taalas.
Heatwaves are amongst the deadliest natural hazards with thousands of people dying from heat-related causes each year.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change estimates that by 2050, about half of the European population may face high or very high risk of heat stress in summer.
North Africa is also suffering high temperatures. For instance, the Moroccan meteorological service issued a red alert for extreme heat for southern parts of the country on 13 July, with maximum temperatures of 44 to 49° Celsius.
A widespread heatwave is intensifying in the southern United States, with high temperatures likely in numerous places, according to the US National Weather Service, which says a few locations could even register their all-time temperature records.
“The heat will be highly dangerous and potentially deadly due to the intensity and longevity,” it said. At least 93 million people are under Excessive Heat Warnings and Heat Advisories as of 14 July.
Areas at risk in the southwestern USA include California, southern Nevada and Arizona. In South-Central and Southeast USA, maximum heat index values could near or exceed 110 ° Fahrenheit (43° C). Many parts of Florida, including the city of Miami, have been hit by an extended, record-breaking heatwave.
“Unusually warm waters in the Gulf of Mexico and in the western Atlantic Ocean will contribute to persistent, oppressive humidity in nearly coastal areas and limit nighttime cooling,” said the National Weather Service.
Overnight minimum temperatures are expected to reach new highs, and this will increase the risk of health-related impacts.