You may not have known that, but June 2023 received a new nickname, which is "the hottest June ever" according to the global temperature analysis of the US Space and Aviation Agency (NASA) and several other bodies around the world, perhaps you also did not know that the first week in July this month set a new record being the hottest week ever in the whole world, and perhaps you also did not know that what you are going through while reading these words is hot Not only is it happening in your country or even in the wider Arab world, many countries of the world are going through a historic heat wave at the moment!
In China, for example, last week recorded the highest electricity production nationwide as a heat wave grapples, with the China Energy Investment Corporation (CEIC), one of the world's largest coal-fired power generators, reporting total electricity generation of 4.09 billion kilowatt-hours on Monday, July 11, an increase of 210 million kWh from the previous day.
On the other side of the world, warnings have sounded in different parts of the southern and western United States via the Internet and television channels for fear of "dangerous" heat levels that could harm the health of a third of the population (about 110 million people), similar red warnings have been launched in the media for sixteen cities across Italy, where southern Europe is still suffering from extremely high temperatures. Red alerts mean that even healthy people may be at risk from the heat, and the Italian government has advised those in alert zones to avoid direct sunlight between 11 a.m. and 6 p.m.
Besides, many regions in France and Spain suffered from extreme temperatures, with reports of the collapse of tourists in Greece, where temperatures reached 40 degrees Celsius or higher, but in the Arab world we do not need to tell you, as it is likely that you feel it now, and that the meteorological authority in your country has announced a temperature above 40 with a clear difference.
All this and we have not yet talked about the historical heat wave that hit Europe last year and caused the death of 60,<> people, according to a study recently published in the journal "Nature Medicine", and the reason for this is that health problems related to heat waves are related to humidity degrees, the higher the humidity, the lower temperatures more impact, the so-called heat index explains that idea, an indicator that combines air temperature and relative humidity in an attempt to determine the temperature it feels Really human.
In the newscast you can notice that they say that the temperature next week, for example, will be 35, but you will feel like 40 degrees, this difference represents the effect of humidity on raising the feeling of heat. The "dangerous" heat index is defined as a feeling of heat above 39.4 degrees Celsius, and the "very dangerous" heat index is defined as a standard of 51 degrees Celsius, both of which are unsafe for humans for any period of time, no matter how short.
If a person is exposed to these levels of heat, it may cause medical problems that begin with symptoms of thirst and dehydration and may reach heat shock, during which the person develops severe headaches, skin irritation, and loss of concentration, and if it continues, we can reach a stage of complete loss of consciousness with convulsions that may lead to death in the end.
Is it climate change?
But the real problem is not what happened or what unfortunately happens, but what is coming, as some specialists in this field expect that June and July open the door to an additional heat wave in August that could be exceptional if the summer of 2023 continues in this way!
Scientists in this area agree that what has been happening since June until now is only a clear manifestation of the major problem that the planet is currently facing: climate change, but the issue is usually a little more complex than you might think, for example in our Arab region, we have been affected every year by heat waves in such a season for a long time, but the problem is not in the heat wave itself, but in what climate change causes in it.
For example, in a study published last year in the journal Communications Earth and Environment, a research team from the University of Washington and Harvard University used a new statistical approach that combines historical data on temperature evolution, demographic projections, and economic growth associated with so-called "carbon intensity," the amount of carbon emitted per dollar of economic activity, to come to the conclusion that very hot days, which represent a high degree of danger to the human body, will become more. Common by the end of this century.
University of Maine's Climate Re-Analyzer platform, global temperatures on July 17 at a distance of two meters above the surface of the earth
According to this study, even if the countries of the world manage to stop the average rise in the global temperature at the limit of 1.5 or 30 degrees Celsius according to the Paris Agreement, exceeding the "dangerous" limit of heat will be three to ten times more common, and if the rise in average temperatures continues to escalate without political intervention, the study predicts that the number of very dangerous days will reach 40-<> days a year, times during which people will be completely prohibited from going out to the street, and this Of course it affects their pension, and the entire economy of the states.
This is confirmed by another study led by a team from the University of Hawaii, which stated that for at least 30% of the world's population is exposed to thermal conditions that exceed the threshold of risk of death, and by 20 that percentage will rise to 2100% if we take care and start to reduce the ejets of greenhouse gases (greenhouse gases) into the atmosphere, and it will reach 48%. If the current scenario of our actions and nature's responses remains, then the threat seems to be The growing increment of human life from overheating is almost inevitable, but will be exacerbated if greenhouse gases do not decrease significantly.
This is the problem we are talking about, as heat waves occur from time to time, but climate change raises their rates and occurs more, as well as their intensity, exceeding record numbers, and the length of each of them, so heat waves last for weeks and months, not days as we used to in the past. In recent years, the average heat wave across 50 cities in the United States has been 49 days longer overall than in the sixties, and heat waves have become more intense over time.
It doesn't depend on the heat
High temperatures lead to higher than normal dehydration, which increases plant stress. (Shutterstock)
And it's not about the heat, unfortunately, it gets to everything, just imagine that the entire ecosystem is a set of bells distributed at small equal distances (one meter between each) in a large square area equal to 10 football fields, and that each of these bells has a delicate sensor that can sense any sound nearby, and once it does, it also makes a sound.
Now imagine that we are in complete silence, but one of these bells at the left end of that space has suddenly sounded, here the sensor in the nearby bells will activate the sound sound feature, which in turn affects the bells adjacent to the last bells, and so on until all the bells enter a mess.
The same is true for climate change, a slight rise in temperatures that disrupts everything in our environment, and let's start with the closest food to you, rice, for example, where a 2018 study by the US Department of Agriculture found that high temperatures may reduce rice yield by up to 40% by the end of the century, as heat stress resulting from high temperature in heat waves leads to physiological changes in the rice plant that lead to To the sterility of florets.
This is true of almost all plants we know, from wheat to coffee, as high temperatures lead to a higher than normal drought, which increases plant stress, and global warming disrupts the flowering dates of plants, and all of the above leads to a clear decrease in production, and consequently high prices.
In her book The Sixth Extinction, Elizabeth Colbert points out that this is the first human-led planetary extinction by contributing to changing the nature of the planet. (Social Media)
Species extinctions on Earth are 1000,2000-<>,<> times higher than normal, and in her book Sixth Extinction, Pulitzer Prize-winning environmental journalist Elizabeth Colbert points out that this is the first human-led planetary extinction that has contributed to changing the nature of the planet, mainly through the ejection of greenhouse gases that cause warming the atmosphere.
Some research in this area has indicated that the political turmoil that occurred in Syria, for example, in 2011 was related (to an undetermined degree) to a three-year drought that preceded this date, and was the most severe in decades. Christian Parente, an American investigative journalist, argues in his book "Tropic of Chaos" that it will not be just one country, but climate change can cause severe political tension, especially in countries that fall between the tropics of Capricorn and Cancer.
It remains in this context to know that the consensus of scientists in the scope of climate change is that human activity has a major role in all this, through the use of fossil fuels that emit greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, but unfortunately the problem is not what scientists agree on, but in making appropriate political decisions to stop the matter at this point, and until the moment of writing these words, the countries of the world have not met on this decision, we are still in the stage of political debate about what should be done on climate change, a phase that we hope will not last any longer.