Extreme Weather Has Extreme Consequences

The importance of the extreme weather and climate change have been the center of debate for many years. The world superpowers have worked on this matter to get an appropriate resolution. Are those efforts enough to detain the extreme weather?

Although it is known how the mother nature can react, it seems the world has not reached bottom about this topic. The unconsciousness and ignorance could be important factors in the ongoing problem of extreme weather.

What Are the Causes of Extreme Weather?

The causes of the recent climate changes are variable. Nevertheless, the main attributions are the highest concentrations of greenhouse gases and aerosols in the atmosphere. Additionally, global changes to land surface, such as deforestation, industry, and contamination are others that contribute to the extreme weather.

A 2015 study published in Nature Climate Change, states:

Nearly 18 percent of the average daily extremes of precipitation over land is traced to the observed temperature increase since the 1700s, which occur primarily from human influence. For every 35.6°F of warming the ratio of precipitation extremes that is traced to human impact rises to almost 40 percent.

“Likewise, today about 75 percent of the moderate daily hot extremes over land are attributable to warming. It is the rarest and extreme events for which the largest fraction is anthropogenic, and that contribution increases nonlinearly with further warming.”

The Effect of Extreme Weather

The consequences of an extreme weather are irremediable and catastrophic. It can result in the devastation of an entire population, failure of the economic, political and health systems. Moreover, it causes irreversible damage to nature.

The extreme weather is divided into two main categories. The heat waves that can cause dehydration, hyperthermia, heat stroke and heat cramps while the cold waves could cause hypothermia and starvation.

The 2003 European heat wave, known as the hottest summer in Europe ever recorded, killed over 35,000 people. The 2010 Russian heat wave, which hit temperatures of 100°F, left more than 10,000 people dead.

More recent events occurred in May 2015, in India, a heat wave in combination with the El Nino killed over 2,000 people and in the same year in June, Pakistan also suffered from this heat wave which sadly coincided with the month of Ramadan. During this religious observation Muslims fast and not drink during daylight hours, the extreme weather resulted in the loss of 2,000 lives.

It is less severe than heat waves but still contemporary fatal cold wave events have occurred. In January 2017, Europeans had to face temperatures fallen in –47°F that resulted in over 72 casualties. Just the year before, the Asian continent suffered a cold wave that left at least a hundred deaths.

In a recent study by The Lancet, entitled, Planetary Health revealed that by 2071, 150,000 deaths annually could be expected in Europe due to extreme weather disaster-related events.

Written by Bassil Sockar
Edited by Cathy Milne-Ware


New Scientist: European heatwave caused 35,000 deaths
Reuters: 2010 Russia heat wave due to natural variability: U.S
Hindustan Times: Heatwave claims over 1,100 across country, temperatures soaring
ABC News: Russian heatwave killed 11,000 people
The Weather Network: India’s deadly heatwave nears end as monsoon arrives
Daily Times: After more than 1,100 deaths, people raise their hands in prayer for rain
Relief Web: High temperatures and extreme weather continue
SAMAA TV: Cold wave kills at least 20 across Europe

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Ted Eytan’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License.

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