The Academy of Science in Australia defines climate change in part as a ‘change in the weather pattern over a long period of time.’ This definition is widely accepted but in the last few years, it is becoming a more serious issue for people living in many parts of the world.
Recently, in the United States, a heatwave was announced in almost 30 different states. After the advisory was in place, temperatures soared to over 95 degrees Fahrenheit in some areas and over 100 degrees in others.
This intense heat affected millions of residents and resulted in a number of problems including health issues.
Some US states like Omaha, Indianapolis, Philadelphia, Oklahoma and Chicago had the highest temperatures, while cities like Memphis, Little Rock, Raleigh and Nashville being alerted. Other states with excessive heat alerts included Washington, Baltimore, Cleveland, Boston, and New York.
Although temperatures were expected to fall at night after the sun went down, the heat was so excessive in some places that it remained almost at the same level during the night with temperatures barely going below 80 degrees in some areas.
However, the United States was not the only place affected by the intense heat. This same phenomenon is also happening in many regions of Europe. A significant number of alerts have been issued in countries such as France, Germany, and Belgium. One of the main reasons why this is happening is due to the constant atmospheric pressure that is drawing up hot air from the northern parts of the continent of Africa.
Although extremely hot temperatures are still rare in Europe, they have become an increasingly serious problem. Science based studies have determined that the actions of humans are the most likely reason why these heatwaves are taking place. The impact is felt not only in the hot weather, but also in the number of fatalities as a result. Europe has seen over 70,000 deaths since 2003 alone, and the numbers continue to grow.
In addition, there are many other reported health incidents triggered by the excessive heat. For example, officials continue to warn their citizens of symptoms such as exhaustion, weakness, nausea, dehydration, and other common signs of heat exposure that could lead to serious health problems.
It’s very important for people to look for ways to lower their body temperature as quickly as possible when they are exposed to excessive heat. Medical research as shown that once a person’s body temperature rises above 104 Fahrenheit, the possibility of a heatstroke is quite high.
Ultimately, the climate change phenomenon is the reason why we are seeing heatwaves increase in frequency and intensity. Part of the problem also comes from the release of greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to the problem. Many of these are man-made greenhouse emissions come as a result of human based actions. For example, the burning of oil and coal, which are known as fossil fuels releases too much CO2 (carbon dioxide), and this causes the greenhouse effects to reach the upper atmosphere in quantities that are not optimal for survival.
Another contributor is methane, which is caused by organic waste decay and fossil fuel extraction. Nitrous oxide is also a serious problem and it comes from industrial processing and agriculture. There are also other gases known as fluorinated gases. Although this type of greenhouse gas is only responsible for 1% of global warming, they are enough of a problem to be on the list. The constant industrial processes are responsible for the large amount of emissions we know today.
As the world industries continue to advance, the human population will have to find better ways to deal with increasing world temperatures. To aid in this process, many health experts recommend wearing loose clothing made of cool and breathable fabrics during the hottest days. Replenishing your liquid loss is another important step like drinking plenty of water on a regular basis during the day. Also, keeping the windows open and using fans to keep an enclosed area ventilated if an air conditioner unit is not available is another way to stay cooler. Considering these and other practical steps is highly useful when dealing with any current and future heatwave effects.
The human influence on climate change continues to become evident and we all need to do the best we can to lower any harmful emissions that we are sending into the atmosphere. Moreover, everyone that lives on planet earth can contribute to this goal by using environmentally friendly transportation, which may include walking or riding a bicycle to our destination instead of using a car.