Temperatures at the north and south poles set records in March. In May, the temperature in Delhi reached 49 degrees Celsius. Last week in Madrid, it was 40 degrees Celsius. According to experts, if emissions continue to grow, the worst repercussions of the climate emergency will be unavoidable.
Inducing a heatwave at one pole may be viewed as a warning; heatwaves at both poles at the same time begin to resemble climatic disaster. Scientists have rapidly demonstrated that these record-breaking temperatures are not a natural phenomenon. According to a research released last month, human influence on the climate rendered the south Asian heatwave 30 times more likely to occur.
This type of heat poses a serious threat to human health, directly as it puts stress on our bodies, and indirectly as it damages crops, causes wildfires and even harms our built environment, such as roads and buildings.
The present heatwaves are occurring as the planet has warmed by around 1.2 degrees Celsius over pre-industrial levels. Beyond 1.5 degrees Celsius, the climate changes will be too extreme to combat with shade trees, air conditioning, or white roofs; at that point, windows will fall out of their frames, roads will melt, and trains would buckle in the heat.
Crop damage of the type projected by climate scientists is already occurring. Farmers in northern India have witnessed the sun scorch their wheat. An estimated 15% to 35% of the wheat harvest in states around Delhi – Punjab, Haryana, and Uttar Pradesh, India’s “wheat bowl” – has been destroyed.
“There will be no space let for adaptation, if we continue with business as usual in terms of greenhouse gas emissions.”
Reference- The Guardian, BBC World, National Geographic, Forbes, TIME