Friday, 30 September, 2022

Heatwave trend to continue till 2060s, warns UN

Heatwave trend to continue till 2060s, warns UN

GENEVA: The United Nations said on Tuesday warned that Western Europe’s suffocating heatwave is becoming more frequent and the trend is set to continue until at least the 2060s.

The United Nations’ World Meteorological Organisation said the current heatwave should act as a wake-up call for countries pumping more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, reports Bharat Times.

“They are happening more frequently and this negative trend will continue … until at least 2060, independent of our success in climate mitigation efforts,” WMO chief Petri Talas told a news conference in Geneva.

“We have started breaking records because of climate change… this type of heatwave is going to be normal in the future, and we will see even stronger extremes,” he said.

“Emissions are still rising and so it is not certain that we will peak in the 2060s if we are not able to reverse this emissions growth trend, especially in the large Asian countries that are the biggest emitters.”

The WMO held a joint press conference with the World Health Organisation, its sister UN agency, about Western Europe being hit by a severe heatwave. The heatwave sparked fierce wildfires before moving north and raised temperatures in Britain above 40°C (104°F) for the first time.

“We are expecting the peak today to be across France, the UK, possibly even Switzerland,” said Robert Stefanski, WMO’s head of applied climate services.

“And the question everyone is asking, looking ahead, when will this end Unfortunately, looking at all the models… maybe not until the middle of next week.”         Europe’s heat record was broken last year when a thermometer hit 48.8C in Sicily, southern Italy.

“Our concern is that this is happening with the short time span between these records,” Stefansky said.

He said that Greece’s record temperature stood before it was broken in 1977 to 2021 and a similar temperature was reaching this year as well.

Maria Neira, WHO’s director of environment, climate change and health, recalled how the 2003 European heatwave cost more than $70,000.

“This heat will compromise our body’s ability and ability to regulate our internal temperature. And it can result in a cascade of illnesses, obviously starting with heat cramps, heat exhaustion, heatstroke, hyperthermia “