According to a study published by the journal Environmental Research Letters, heat waves on earth will become stronger and more frequent over the next 30 years, especially in regions such as South America, Africa and Europe.
Dim Coumou, Potsdam Institute, which investigates the impact of climate change, said: “Extreme heat can be very damaging to society and ecosystems, often causing heat-related deaths, forest fires or losses to agricultural production.”
Extreme heat waves such as those that hit the US in 2012 and Australia in 2009, are projected to affect double the amount of global land by 2020 and quadruple by 2040.
We find that up until 2040, the frequency extreme heat waves per month will increase considerably, independent of the emission scenario we choose to take. Mitigation, however, can strongly reduce the number of waves in the second half of the 21st century.”
Under a high emission scenario, the projections show that by 2100, 3-sigma heat waves will cover 85 per cent of the global land area and five-sigma heat waves will cover around 60 per cent of the earth.