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Highest temperature records in decades

People no longer can deny the existence of climate change as  Death Valley records the world temperature highest record in the last century and quite possibly ever. Death Valley in California’s Mojave Desert has witnessed an unprecedented high temperature that soared up to 54.4 Celsius (130 Fahrenheit) at 3:41 pm (22:41 GMT) on Sunday. Thus, humanity has finally reached a point where climate change needs to be adequately addressed.

Though it was a dry form of heat where humidity fell to 7 percent, meteorologist Daniel Berc at the weather service’s Las Vegas bureau reported that it felt “insanely hot” all the same. 

the heatwave

The heatwave was not only limited to the area, but it has also stretched out from Arizona in the south-west, up the coast to Washington State in the north-west. However, experts expect that it will continue to increase until it hits its peak on Monday and Tuesday. Then hopefully the temperatures will start to drop later during the week. On the other hand, people of the region will still feel the sweltering heat for at least another ten more days. 

Furthermore, as the temperature peaked in California, citizens bore witnesses to a frightening “firenado” on Saturday in Lassen County. The air rose in a swirl, just like what happens in some thunderstorms, igniting everything in its path. Thus,  California’s Independent System Operator (CISO) was forced to declare a Stage 3 Emergency. This indicates that the demand for electricity and power resources will start to outpace the current supply. 

One of the reasons behind the outpace is that much of the region’s power relies on solar and wind energy. Thus, The heatwave will leave those methods malfunctioning. Hence, officials are now using scheduled rolling blackouts to control and conserve energy.

effects of this extreme heat

The US public health body, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states that over the past years, heatwaves have killed more people on average than any other extreme weather event in the country. Commonly, heatwaves cause heat cramps, dehydration, and even potentially fatal heat strokes.

 On the other hand, the World Health Organization (WHO) declares that extreme heat can also play a role in exacerbating pre-existing health conditions. Such conditions include but are not limited to the many forms of respiratory diseases. 

Furthermore, extreme weather conditions like this one can also affect infrastructure severely. Not only can such weather strain power grids and cause blackouts, but it can also ground planes, and melt roads. The severe heat can additionally cause the inside of cars to overheat to dangerous levels.

Moreover, the heat can have a devastating impact on agriculture too. The extreme heat can cause vegetables to wilt and die. Thus,  ruining the year’s harvest. It also can accelerate the spread of several plant diseases. 

Effects of climate change

The current phenomenon is, without a doubt, a direct effect of climate change. During the last decades, Climate change has increased temperatures in countries from all over the world. In Europe, northern Spain broke local heat records in July. France also suffered the wrath of climate change as its wheat fields burned down to ash. Forests across Siberian Russia are seeing unprecedented wildfires, while the Arctic sea ice shrank to a record low for July due to melting. Thus, California’s death valley is not but another name to be added to this ever-growing list. 

In brief, this new record should serve as a warning for anyone who doubts climate change. The problem is real and entire countries are now paying the price of our ignorance. Action is needed now more than ever.

References:

Access Denied. (2020). Cbc. https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/death-valley-hottest-1.5689060Al Jazeera. (2020, August 18). “Insanely hot”: Death Valley records world temperature record. News | Al Jazeera. https://www.aljazeera.com/news/2020/08/hot-death-valley-records-world-temperature-record-200818015732668.htmlBBC News. (2020, August 17). “Highest temperature on Earth” recorded in the US. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-53788018Space. (2020). 404. https://www.space.com/death-valley-temperature-record.html4