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These are most intense heat waves in history around the world

These are most intense heat waves in history around the world

Climate change is the main cause of the most recent heat waves that have been recorded in the world. And although there are several that have been well known, such as those presented in the United States or Australia, India, and Pakistan there are others that have gone unnoticed. However, recent research published in the journal Science Advances has revealed the most intense heat waves on record worldwide.

Researchers from the University of Bristol explained that the heat wave in western North America, which occurred in the summer of last year, had a maximum in the Canadian regions: 49.6 ° C in Lytton, British Columbia. And while these figures were believed to be record-breaking, scientists found that there were five other heat waves around the world that were even more severe, but largely unreported.

Vikki Thompson, lead author of the text and climatologist at this institution, explained that the recent heat wave in Canada and the United States shocked the world. “But we show that there have been some even bigger extremes in recent decades. Using climate models, we also find that extreme heat events are likely to increase in magnitude over the next century, at the same rate as local average temperatures,” she added to Eureka Alert.

To determine those other waves that had been recorded, the team calculated how extreme the heat waves were relative to the local temperature. It found that the three highest temperatures on record were in Southeast Asia, in April 1998, which reached 32.8°C; in Brazil, in November 1985, with a maximum of 36.5 °C; and in the southern United States, in July 1980, with 38.4 °C.

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“It is important to assess the severity of heat waves in terms of local temperature variability because both humans and the natural ecosystem will adapt to this, so in regions where there is less variation, a smaller absolute extreme may have more damaging effects,” Vikki Thompson, of the Cabot Institute for the Environment at this institution, told Eureka Alert.

To anticipate heat wave trends for the rest of this century, the team developed projections using climate models. “The levels indicated by the modelling of the intensity of heat waves will increase in line with the increase in global temperatures,” the document states.

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