Almost the entire World's Population was exposed to Global Warming from June to SeptemberEnvironment | September 8, 2023, Friday // 10:03| views
Almost the entire world's population experienced warmer temperatures from June to August as a result of human-induced climate change, according to a research report published late on Thursday and cited by Reuters.
The Northern Hemisphere summer of 2023 was the hottest on record, with prolonged heat waves in North America and southern Europe causing catastrophic wildfires and spikes in death rates. July was the hottest month on record, while average August temperatures were 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
A study by Climate Central, a US-based research group, looked at temperatures in 180 countries and 22 territories and found that 98% of the world's population is exposed to higher temperatures, at least twice as likely due to carbon dioxide pollution.
"Virtually no one on Earth has escaped the impact of global warming over the past three months," said Andrew Pershing, vice president of science at Climate Central.
"In every country we could analyze, including the Southern Hemisphere, where this is the coldest time of the year, we saw temperatures that would have been difficult - and in some cases almost impossible - without human-caused climate change," he added. Climate Central assesses whether heat events are more likely as a result of climate change by comparing observed temperatures with those generated by models that remove the influence of greenhouse gas emissions. According to the analysis, about 6.2 billion people experienced at least one day of average temperatures that are at least five times more likely to be a result of climate change, the maximum value in Climate Central's Climate Change Index.
Heat waves in North America and southern Europe would not have been possible without climate change, said Friederike Otto, a climatologist at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment.
"We looked at isolated heat waves," she noted. "They're not five times more likely. They're infinitely more likely because they wouldn't have happened without climate change."
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