The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said on Friday that this year’s summer is “a summer of extremes,” resulting in major damage to people’s health and the environment,
Spokesperson for the WMO, Clare Nullis, who stated this at a press briefing, noted that dangerous weather, including intense heat and devastating rainfall, has impacted large parts of the world in this “summer of extremes.”
Clare Nullis said many new station temperature records around the world were broken in July, while the beginning of August saw a winter heatwave in parts of South America.
In a series of updates on extreme weather, WMO said earlier this week that many countries like France, Greece, Italy, Spain, Algeria and Tunisia all reported new maximum daytime and overnight station temperature records.
Large parts of the United States were also gripped by extensive heatwaves.
WMO pointed out that heatwaves were among the deadliest natural hazards with thousands of people dying from heat-related causes each year, adding that the full impact of a heatwave is not often known until weeks or months afterwards.
According to WMO, sea surface temperatures of the Mediterranean are set to be exceptionally high in the coming days and weeks, exceeding 30 degrees Celsius in some parts, and more than four degrees Celsius above average in a large part of the western Mediterranean.
WMO believes that the impacts of marine heatwaves include migration of species and extinctions, arrival of invasive species with consequences for fisheries and aquaculture.
Speaking at Friday’s press briefing, the WMO spokesperson also said that Canada is experiencing its worst wildfire season on record, as wildfires continue to burn big forest areas, with more than 650 wildfires out of control as of July 24.
Earlier this week WMO said wildfires had forced evacuation of hundreds of residents and tourists on the Greek islands of Rhodes, Evia and Corfu since July 17, pointing out that the emissions of these wildfires have reached record levels.
Heavy rains and flooding also caused severe damage and loss of life in parts of the world.
WMO Secretary-General Petteri Taalas noted that “The extreme weather – an increasingly frequent occurrence in our warming climate – is having a major impact on human health, ecosystems, economies, agriculture, energy and water supplies.”
Taalas said the situation highlights the need to urgently cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Photo Credit Britannica