Once-In-50-Year Heat Waves Now Happening Every Decade: UN Climate Report

19th August, 2021.      //   Climate Change  // 
FILE PHOTO: Steve Krofchik of Las Vegas keeps cool with a bottle of ice on his head as the unofficial thermometer reads 130 degrees Fahrenheit (54.4 Celsius), with a mechanical fault on the display causing the numbers to render incorrectly, at the Furnace Creek Visitors Center in Death Valley, California, U.S. August 17, 2020. REUTERS/David Becker/File Photo

FILE PHOTO: Steve Krofchik of Las Vegas keeps cool with a bottle of ice on his head as the unofficial thermometer reads 130 degrees Fahrenheit (54.4 Celsius), with a mechanical fault on the display causing the numbers to render incorrectly, at the Furnace Creek Visitors Center in Death Valley, California, U.S. August 17, 2020. REUTERS/David Becker/File Photo

Due to global warming, extreme heat waves that occurred once every 50 years are now predicted to occur once every decade, while downpours and droughts have also grown more common, according to a UN climate science research released on Monday.

We are already feeling the consequences of climate change, according to the research, as the world has warmed by more than 1 degree Celsius on average. As the planet warms more, heat waves, droughts, and heavy rains will become more often and intense.

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has for the first time calculated the probability of these severe occurrences in a number of scenarios.

When compared to the 50 years prior to 1900, when substantial human-driven warming began, once-in-a-decade heavy rain events are now 1.3 times more probable and 6.7 percent wetter.

Droughts might occurred once every five or six years in the past.

Scientists stressed that the impacts of climate change are already evident, citing incidents such as a heat wave in the Pacific Northwest of the United States that killed hundreds in June and Brazil’s worst drought in 91 years.

“The heat wave in Canada, fires in California, floods in Germany, floods in China, droughts in central Brazil make it very, very clear that climate extremes are having a very heavy toll,” said Paulo Artaxo, an environmental physicist at the University of Sao Paulo, one of the report’s primary authors.

The future appears to be even more bleak, with increased warming implying more frequent severe occurrences.

Heat waves are more likely to occur as a result of global warming than any other severe occurrence. Heat waves may occur about every six years twice a century, with 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming, a figure that the research predicts could be exceeded within two decades.

Heat waves would occur every one to two years if the globe warmed by 4 degrees Celsius, as may happen in a high-emissions scenario.

Another report author, Carolina Vera, a physical climate scientist at the University of Buenos Aires and Argentina’s major science research agency (CONICET), said there’s a growing chance that several catastrophic weather events would wreak havoc.

Extreme heat, drought, and high winds, for example, all of which can fuel wildfires, are more likely to occur at the same time.

Many key agricultural regions throughout the world will see more droughts or severe rains, according to the IPCC. Argentina, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Brazil, for example, are significant soybean and other global commodity producers.

“It is scary, sure, with the risk that fires, heat waves, droughts will affect humans in the form of weather and food insecurity, energy insecurity, water quality and health – mainly in poor regions,” Jose Marengo, a climatologist at the Brazilian Science Ministry’s catastrophe monitoring office, explained the situation.

The IPCC report does not include Marengo.

Drought-prone areas, including as the Mediterranean, southern Australia, and western North America, are expected to suffer them more frequently, according to Friederike Otto, an IPCC contributor and climatologist at the University of Oxford.

Drought and heavy rain are not mutually incompatible, according to her, and are expected in regions like Southern Africa.

According to experts, the report’s forecasts on extreme weather occurrences emphasize the necessity of limiting climate change to the levels set forth in the Paris Agreement.

“If we stabilize at 1.5 degrees, we can stop them from getting much worse,” Otto stated.