New study: ‘Super heat waves’ of 131°F coming if global warming continues unchecked

New study: ‘Super heat waves’ of 131°F coming if global warming continues unchecked

SOURCE: Think Progress DATE: Aug 14, 2017 SNIP: In Europe, the recent heat wave was so extreme — with temperatures reaching 111°F (44°C), fueling wildfires and wasp attacks — it was nicknamed “Lucifer.” In the Middle East, as temperatures soared to 121°F (50°C), “birds in Kuwait have reportedly been dropping from the sky,” the International Business Times reported Friday. But, new research says, we ain’t seen nothing yet. A new study by the Joint Research Centre (JRC), the European Union’s science and research lab, finds that “if global temperatures rise with 4°C [7°F], a new super heat wave of 55°C [131°F] can hit regularly many parts of the world, including Europe” and the United States. Chart: On the left are the chances of heatwave each year exceeding a heat index of 40°C (104°F) in three scenarios of global warming: 1.5°C, 2°C, and 4°C. On the right are the chances of annual heat waves in the region exceeding a heat index of...
Iraq sends workers home as ‘ungodly’ heat grips Middle East

Iraq sends workers home as ‘ungodly’ heat grips Middle East

SOURCE: The Guardian DATE: Aug 11, 2017 SNIP: While Europe battles with a heatwave named Lucifer, the Middle East is enduring a summer so brutal that even those accustomed to Baghdad’s searing August weather are labelling it “ungodly”. As temperatures rose towards 51C (124F) on Thursday, Iraq’s government declared a mandatory holiday, allowing civil servants to shelter at home. So far this month in the Iraqi capital, every day but one has reached 48C or higher, and the forecast is for the high temperatures to continue for the next week. In Kuwait, where birds have reportedly dropped from the skies, and Riyadh, where building work has ceased this week, locals have called for mercy from a hotter-than-normal air mass that has remained nearly stationary over central Arabia for more than three weeks, stretching the capacity of electricity networks beyond...
Extreme weather seen killing 152,000 Europeans a year by 2100

Extreme weather seen killing 152,000 Europeans a year by 2100

SOURCE: Reuters, The Lancet Planetary Health DATE: Aug 4, 2017 SNIP: Europe’s death toll from weather disasters could rise 50-fold by the end of this century, with extreme heat alone killing more than 150,000 people a year by 2100 if nothing is done to curb the effects of climate change, scientists said on Friday. In a study in The Lancet Planetary Health journal, the scientists said their findings showed climate change placing a rapidly increasing burden on society, with two in three people in Europe likely to be affected if greenhouse gas emissions and extreme weather events are not controlled. The predictions, based on an assumption of no reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and no improvement in policies to reduce the impact of extreme climatic events, show European weather-related deaths rising from 3,000 a year between 1981 and 2010 to 152,000 a year between 2071 and...
Deadly Heat Waves Could Endanger 74% of Global Population by 2100, Study Says

Deadly Heat Waves Could Endanger 74% of Global Population by 2100, Study Says

SOURCE: Inside Climate News DATE: June 19, 2017 SNIP: Deadly heat waves—already a risk for 30 percent of the world’s population—will spread around the globe, posing a danger for 74 percent of people on Earth by the end of this century if nothing is done to address climate change, according to a new study. Nearly as alarming, the researchers project that even if greenhouse gases are aggressively reduced, at least 48 percent of the population will still face deadly heat waves by 2100 because of the amount of long-lived heat-trapping gases that already have accumulated in the atmosphere. “We’re running out of good options for the future,” said lead author Camilo Mora, a biologist at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. “For heat waves, our options are now between bad or terrible.” A handful of deadly heat episodes have made headlines in recent decades, including the 2003 European heat wave that killed some 70,000 people, the 2010 heat wave in Russia that killed 10,000 people, and a 1995 Chicago heat wave that killed 700 people. But Mora and his team, in analyzing heat mortality episodes reported in peer-reviewed scientific literature between 1980 and 2014, found that deadly heat episodes are far more common and widespread than previously thought. The researchers identified 911 papers with data on 1,949 case studies where human deaths were associated with high temperatures. They found that lethal heat waves had occurred in 164 cities across 36 countries. The team obtained climatic data for the times and locations of those episodes, including surface air temperature, relative humidity, solar radiation, wind speed and several other metrics. Deadly...