Heat waves, deadly floods, and wildfires are all symptoms of the link between extreme weather and climate change.
Since the beginning of the industrial era, emissions from the combustion of fossil fuels have trapped heat in the atmosphere. As a result, average temperatures have risen by 1.1 degrees Celsius. This extra energy is unevenly distributed and explodes in extremes like the ones we’ve been seeing.
This cycle will continue unless global emissions are reduced. According to the Met Office, warm spells in the UK have more than doubled in length over the last 50 years. Another weather phenomenon, a heat dome, can lengthen and intensify heat waves.
Hot air is pushed down and trapped in an area of high pressure, causing temperatures to soar across an entire continent. Summer heat is arriving earlier and staying with us for longer in India and Pakistan.
Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Brazil all experienced historic heat waves in January, with many areas reporting their hottest day on record. In the same month, Onslow in Western Australia reached 50.7 degrees Celsius, the Southern Hemisphere’s joint-highest temperature ever reliably recorded.