Deadly heatwaves and scorching temperatures have plagued countries worldwide, marking Monday, July 03, as the hottest day ever recorded. Climate scientists emphasize that global efforts to reduce emissions and limit temperature increases are far from meeting their targets.
The US National Centres for Environmental Prediction declared the astonishing news of this record-breaking heat, revealing that the average global temperature reached 17.01°C, surpassing the previous record of 16.92°C set in 2016. These unprecedented temperatures come after months of consistently high temperatures across the globe.
China has endured four severe heatwaves in the past month, while India has witnessed hundreds of fatalities due to extreme heat. North America has grappled with an alarming number of wildfires, with nearly 20,000 reported this year alone, according to the National Interagency Fire Centre. These fires have significantly deteriorated air quality, affecting around 100 million individuals amidst exceedingly dry forest conditions.
In May, Dhaka, Bangladesh, experienced its hottest temperature in six decades, soaring to 40°C. This extreme heat triggered power outages and compelled schools to close. Similarly, temperature records were shattered during the spring season in Thailand, Vietnam, and Myanmar. Seville, Spain, was hit by a scorching heatwave in June, with temperatures reaching 45°C—the highest in two decades.
The southern United States is also grappling with a “heat dome,” a term used by climate scientists to describe an area of high-pressure hot air. New Orleans has endured temperatures as high as 43°C, leading to over 1,200 hospitalizations in Louisiana since April.
Regrettably, these extreme temperatures are likely only the beginning of a series of new records for this year. Zeke Hausfather, a research scientist at Berkeley Earth, warns that increasing carbon dioxide and greenhouse gas emissions, combined with a growing El Niño event, will continue to push temperatures to unprecedented heights.
North Africa, already plagued by drought and its detrimental impact on crop production, has experienced temperatures as high as 50°C. The central Middle East, including Syria and Iraq, is also suffering from severe drought, although both countries experienced bumper harvests during the spring season.
Water levels in the Tigris and Euphrates rivers have drastically declined, exacerbating water quality issues in southern Iraq. Recently, mass fish deaths occurred in Maysan province near Iran as a result. This situation has escalated diplomatic tensions between Iraq and its neighboring countries, Iran and Turkey, who have constructed dams upstream, disrupting the flow of these vital rivers.
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