BBC: Number of ‘Extremely Hot Days’ Each Year Is Rising

A BBC report found that the number of days with temperatures that surpass 50 ºC has nearly doubled in the past 40 years.

Bronx, New York
Sep 20, 2021 11:14 AM EDT
By Paolo DeAndreis
Bronx, New York

Recent News

A grow­ing num­ber of loca­tions through­out the world are expe­ri­enc­ing tem­per­a­tures higher than 50 ºC, accord­ing to a BBC analy­sis.

The heat­waves, which affect human and ani­mal health, are hap­pen­ing increas­ingly often, the BBC said.

We need to act quickly. The faster we cut our emis­sions, the bet­ter off we’ll all be.- Sihan Li, cli­mate researcher, University of Oxford

In the 1980s, sci­en­tists had found that extremely hot days, with tem­per­a­tures exceed­ing 50 ºC, were unevenly expe­ri­enced by a num­ber of loca­tions – 200 at most.

However, since the 2000s, this num­ber has rapidly increased, ris­ing to some­where between 220 and 480. These loca­tions also expe­ri­ence dou­ble the num­ber of extremely hot days com­pared with 40 years ago.

See Also: Climate Change Coverage

The total num­ber of days above 50 ºC has increased in each decade since 1980,” the BBC said. On aver­age, between 1980 and 2009, tem­per­a­tures passed 50 °C about 14 days a year. The num­ber rose to 26 days a year between 2010 and 2019. In the same period, tem­per­a­tures of 45 °C and above occurred on aver­age an extra two weeks a year.”

2021 has seen a few heat records already bro­ken, with south­west­ern Canada record­ing a record-high 49.6 ºC. Meanwhile, Siracusa, Sicily, expe­ri­enced its own unprece­dented heat this sum­mer, reach­ing 48.8 ºC.

On top of that, many of the world’s bro­ken heat records had only been set in 2020. According to data pub­lished by the Copernicus Climate Change Service, 2020 was 0.6 ºC warmer than the stan­dard 1981 to 2010 ref­er­ence point and 1.25 ºC above pre-indus­trial lev­els.

While announc­ing the lat­est United Nations report on cli­mate change last month, the U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres said the evi­dence is irrefutable: green­house gas emis­sions are chok­ing our planet and plac­ing bil­lions of peo­ple in dan­ger. Global heat­ing is affect­ing every region on Earth.”

We need to act quickly,” Sihan Li, a cli­mate researcher at the University of Oxford, told the BBC. The faster we cut our emis­sions, the bet­ter off we’ll all be.”

With con­tin­ued emis­sions and lack of action, not only will these extreme heat events become more severe and more fre­quent, but emer­gency response and recov­ery will become more chal­leng­ing,” she added.

See Also: Editors from 200 Health Journals Warn Climate Change Is Creating Global Health Crises

Currently, 300 mil­lion peo­ple live under heat stress con­di­tions, accord­ing to a Rutgers University report cited by the BBC. The researchers believe that should pro­tec­tive mea­sures and cur­tail­ing strate­gies not be enforced, in 2100 more than 1.2 bil­lion peo­ple could live their lives under a heat stress cap.

The ris­ing tem­per­a­tures are chang­ing peo­ples’ lives, alter­ing the land­scape with wild­fires, con­tribut­ing to deser­ti­fi­ca­tion and harm­ing farm­ing oper­a­tions world­wide.

However, this is push­ing sci­en­tific research toward devel­op­ing new cop­ing strate­gies, one of which directly involves the olive tree. The Mediterranean basin, to which the olive tree is endemic, is set to undergo sig­nif­i­cant changes in the next decades as tem­per­a­tures in the Mediterranean basin are pre­dicted to rise more quickly than the rest of the world.

A recent study pub­lished by Israel’s Agricultural Research Organization con­firmed that ris­ing tem­per­a­tures affect the olive pro­duc­tion cycle and olive oil qual­ity.

The researchers said to adapt to grow­ing unpre­dictable sea­sons and to extreme weather events, new agro­nom­ics solu­tions will have to be deployed. They added fur­ther research must be done to iden­tify olive cul­ti­vars with higher resilience to heat.

Living at 50 °C has impli­ca­tions that have yet to be fully inves­ti­gated, the BBC con­cluded. The United Kingdom’s national broad­caster announced a new doc­u­men­tary series that will explore the most affected loca­tions and how local res­i­dents are cop­ing.

Olive Oil Times Video Series

Related News

Feedback / Suggestions