Home News Climate change caused one more month of extreme heat days last year

Climate change caused one more month of extreme heat days last year


During the past year of record heat, the average person on Earth experienced 26 more days of unusually high temperatures than they would have if it weren’t for human-induced climate change, scientists said Tuesday.

The past 12 months have been the hottest on record for Earth, driven largely by the burning of fossil fuels, which pump large amounts of heat-trapping gases into the atmosphere. The researchers’ analysis found that nearly 80% of the world’s population has experienced at least 31 days of abnormally high temperatures since May last year, due to human-induced warming.

Suppose we don’t have The Earth is getting warmer nowUsing mathematical models of the global climate, scientists estimate that the number of unusually warm days will be far lower.

The differences varied by location. In some countries, the difference was as little as two or three weeks, the researchers found. In others, such as Colombia, Indonesia and Rwanda, the difference was as much as 120 days.

“This is a huge burden we place on humanity,” said Andrew Pershing, vice president for science at Climate Center, a nonprofit research and news organization in Princeton, New Jersey, and one of the researchers who conducted the new analysis. “It’s also a huge burden we place on nature.” In parts of South America and Africa, he said, “these 120 days simply wouldn’t exist without climate change.”

The global climate is currently shifting toward the La Nina phase of the El Nino-Southern Oscillation cycle. This typically portends cooler average temperatures. Even so, the recent high temperatures could have knock-on effects on weather and storms in some places in the coming months. Forecasters expect This year’s Atlantic hurricane season became unusually active, in part because of the unusually high sea temperatures in which the storm formed.

The analysis released Tuesday is a collaboration between several organizations: Climate Central, the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre and World Weather Attribution, a scientific initiative that studies extreme weather events. The report’s authors consider a location to be unusually hot if the temperature on a given day exceeds 90 percent of daily temperatures recorded between 1991 and 2020.

The report found that since last May, Americans have experienced an average of 39 days of heat waves due to climate change. That’s 19 days more than in a hypothetical world without human-caused warming. In some states, including Arizona and New Mexico in the Southwest and Washington and Oregon in the Northwest, the difference in heat waves was 30 days or more, a full month longer.

The scientists also counted how many extreme heat waves the Earth has experienced since May last year, which they define as abnormally high temperatures over a large area lasting three days or longer that cause significant loss of life or disruption to infrastructure and industry.

The researchers found 76 such events in the past year on every continent except Antarctica, affecting 90 countries. India is scorching hot Last spring. Extremely hot Last summer, wildfires intensified in North America, Europe, and East Asia, straining power grids. Excessive warmth From Africa to the Middle East Southeast Asia.

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