On Tuesday, the small town of Lytton experienced the highest-ever temperature in the history of Canada due to an extraordinary heat wave that killed hundreds of people during the last seven days and triggered over two hundred and forty wildfires across British Columbia, and most of them are still burning. The temperature hit 121.3 degrees Fahrenheit (49.6 degrees), shocking for the town of only two hundred and fifty people living in the mountains, where the highest temperatures in June are usually around twenty-five degrees.
However, the last week, the nights in Lytton are hotter than its days, and unfortunately, air conditioning is rare in the region but homes designed so that they retain heat. Due to the unprecedented heat wave, fires turned much of the town to ash and forced its people to migrate from the area to safer places.
During the last decades, scientists warned that climate change would make heat waves more intense and more frequent. Now the reality is playing out in Canada, including several parts of the Northern Hemisphere that are progressively becoming uninhabitable. Last week, roads melted in the Northwest of America due to intense heat waves. As a result, the officials told the residents of New York City not to use high-energy appliances, such as dryers and washers – and unfortunately, their air conditioners are not for backing the power grid storage and strength.
What devastation did the heat wave cause in Russia and India?
On 23rd June 2021, Moscow, Russia, reported its highest-ever June temperature of 34.8 degrees, whereas the Siberian farmers are making efforts to save their crops from dying during the current heat wave. Furthermore, temperatures in the Arctic Circle are also climbed into the 30s. The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) is trying to authenticate the highest-ever temperature north of the Arctic Circle since records started, after a weather station in Verkhoyansk, Siberia, recorded a thirty-eight-degree day 20th June.
On the other side, tens of millions of residents in the northwest of India are also facing severe heat waves. On Wednesday, the Indian Meteorologist Department classified New Delhi and other cities in its surroundings as experiencing severe extreme heat, with temperatures in those areas constantly staying in the 40s, over seven degrees higher than usual. In addition, a heat wave with a late monsoon is making difficulties for farmers in areas such as the state of Rajasthan.
Likewise, on Thursday, the authorities in Iraq announced a public holiday in many provinces, including Baghdad, due to the unprecedented heat wave as temperature exceeded fifty degrees and its electricity system collapsed. Experts told CNN that it was difficult to identify exactly how linked these weather events are, but it is questionable a coincidence that heat waves are hitting many areas of the Northern Hemisphere at the same time.
It Could Happen Every Year by 2100 – Scientists
There is a rising acceptance among some global political leaders that climate change is a leading force behind fueling several extreme weather events, specifically for storms and heat waves. For example, Joe Biden, the President of the United States, said on Wednesday that climate change is playing a critical role in the dangerous confluence of prolonged drought and extreme heat. Further, he adds that the world sees wildfires of greater intensity and tremendous speed and lasts well beyond the fire season’s traditional months.
“#ClimateChange is driving the dangerous confluence of extreme heat and prolonged #drought. We’re seeing #wildfires of greater intensity that move with more speed and last well beyond traditional months, traditional months of the fire season.” @POTUS Biden.
— Richard Badalamente (@Nimasema) July 1, 2021
Scientists are making their efforts with the help of sophisticated tools that can instantly evaluate how much climate change contributed to any specific weather event. For example, Nikos Christidis, United Kingdom Met Office meteorologist, said that they performed an instant attribution analysis to get some quick answers to “What is the role of climate change?”
Nikos is working on developing simulations to achieve such analysis. He added that they found that without the influence of humans, it would not be possible to hit a new temp record and such a hot June in the region, such as the affected areas of the United States and Canada.