Heatwave Trend To Continue Until 2060s, Warns UN
Heat waves like those in sweltering Western Europe are becoming more frequent and the trend is set to continue until at least the 2060s, the United Nations said on Tuesday.
The United Nations’ World Meteorological Organization says the current heat wave will be a wake-up call for countries that are pumping more and more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
“They are becoming more frequent and this negative trend will continue … at least until the 2060s, regardless of our success in climate mitigation efforts,” the person standing WMO head Petteri Taalas speaks during a press conference in Geneva.
“Thanks to climate change, we’re already starting to break records… In the future, heatwaves like this will be normal and we’ll see even stronger extremes,” he said. he added.
“Emissions are still rising and it is therefore unlikely that we will peak in the 2060s if we cannot contain this growth in emissions growth, especially in the major Asian countries which are largest emitter.”
WMO held a joint press conference with the World Health Organization, the sister agency of the United Nations, on the intense heat wave that is hitting Western Europe.
The heatwave sparked fierce bushfires before sweeping north and pushing temperatures in the UK above 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) for the first time.
“We are expecting a peak today across France, the UK, maybe even Switzerland,” said Robert Stefanski, WMO’s director of applied climate services.
“And the question people are asking, looking ahead, when will this end? Unfortunately, the review of all models … may have to wait until the middle of next week.”
Europe’s heat record was broken last year when the thermometer hit 48.8 degrees Celsius in Sicily, southern Italy.
“Our concern is that this is happening with shorter intervals between these records,” Stefanski said.
Greece’s record temperature was reached in 1977 before it was broken in 2021, and similar temperatures have been reached this year, he said.
Maria Neira, WHO director of environment, climate change and health, recalls how the 2003 heatwave in Europe claimed the lives of more than 70,000 people.
“This heat compromises our body’s capacity and ability to regulate its internal temperature. And this can lead to a host of illnesses, starting with the obvious heat cramps, exhaustion and exhaustion. because of heat, heatstroke, hyperthermia.”
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