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How Is Climate Change Affecting Heatwaves?

people in boat on lake looking at sunset

Warm weather is something that many people around the world enjoy. And feels great to be able to take off our jackets and enjoy some nice sunshine. However, the heatwaves at this time of year are not just an inconvenience for us though. They can affect our crops, increase electricity bills, and even result in death! But how exactly does climate change affect heatwaves? Well, read on to find out more.

Many scientists believe that climate change can make a big difference. When it comes to how much we feel the impact of heatwaves. This is because, as the global average temperature rises, more air can be trapped in the atmosphere resulting in warmer air temperatures. This leads to more extreme weather events.

flower wilted in summer
Photo by Pawel Czerwinski on Unsplash

In fact, it is believed that heatwaves are becoming more frequent on a global scale. Due to global warming, scientists have predicted that by the end of this century they will become more common.

Another reason why climate change can affect heatwaves is that they tend to last longer and are hotter than they used to be in the past. As temperatures rise, record high temperatures which are caused by heatwaves are becoming more frequent. This has the potential to cause serious impacts on the environment as well as our health.

Heatwaves Across the World…

In 2011, there were more than 55,000 deaths in Moscow as a result of a heatwave, and in 2003, close to 30,000 people died throughout Europe because of extreme heat. This is just one example of how climate change is starting to affect us – and the costs are significant! The cost of responding to these extreme weather events will no doubt increase due to the changing climate. For example, in 2011 the United States had 42 disaster declarations over a heatwave which cost $2 billion.

global chart with colors
Eurasia Heatwave/ Wikipedia

And we are experiencing the heatwaves again this year! The year 2021 has brought the heatwaves across some of the coldest countries. Heatwaves are felt through parts of Canada and the UK. Major northern parts of Europe and Asia are also suffering from extreme rises in temperatures.

The impact that a heatwave can have on our health is not lost on climate change scientists. This is because the warmer climate in which we live has the potential to affect many different illnesses and diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and respiratory problems. For example, people with asthma are more likely to get far worse when it is hot because the weather conditions make their symptoms worse. This has the potential to impact their ability to work and enjoy a healthy life.

Another reason why climate change can affect heatwaves is that they are associated with other severe weather events such as floods and storms, which we will likely experience more of as the climate changes.

Also read: Texas Weather: Texans Struggle As Death Toll Mounts Due to Winter Storm