Scientists from the Australian Center for Excellence in the Study of Extreme Climatic Phenomena have stated that since the 1950s, heatwaves on the planet have increased both in length and in frequency across almost the entire planet.
The first comprehensive global assessment of heat waves showed that since 1950 they have become more frequent and longer throughout the planet. Details of the study, published in the journal Nature Communications, also provided a new metric measure of total heat. He showed how much heat is contained in individual heatwaves and seasons. As the researchers expected, this number is growing.
For example, during the hottest season in Australia, temperatures became cumulatively 80 ° C higher. In Russia and the Mediterranean, the most extreme seasons were 200 ° C hotter than the “normal seasons”.
“Over the past 70 years, we can observe more and more heatwaves around the world. But now this trend has accelerated markedly. If we summarize the temperature, we can see that heat around the world has increased by 1°C-4.5°C degrees. In some countries, it increased by 10°C”.
lead research author Sarah Perkins Kirkpatrick
The only metric of thermal waves in which acceleration is not observed is the intensity of thermal waves. However, this is due to the fact that there are more hot days all over the world, and heat waves have become longer. When measuring the average temperature in longer heat waves, any changes in intensity are almost imperceptible.
For example, in the Mediterranean, there was a sharp surge in heatwaves. In the period 1950-2017, there was an increase in heat waves by two days per season. However, from 1980 to 2017, this figure increased to 6.4 days per season.
In different regions, this process takes place at a different pace: in the Amazon, northeastern Brazil, West Asia, and the Mediterranean, rapid changes in heat waves are observed. However, in regions such as South Australia and North Asia, change is slow.
Regardless, researchers warn that vulnerable countries with less developed infrastructure will suffer the most from extreme heat.