DOOM: The World Has Had Two Extra Heatwave Days Per Decade Because You Ate A Burger

This is horrible, horrible news, and I’m looking squarely at you for taking a fossil fueled trip down to that burger joint and eating. Probably with evil cheese on it, along with lettuce and tomatoes which have big road miles to them

OPINION The world endured two extra heatwave days per decade since 1950 – but the worst is yet to come

The term “heatwave” is no stranger to Australians. Defined as when conditions are excessively hot for at least three days in a row, these extreme temperature events have always punctuated our climate.

With many of us in the thick of winter dreaming of warmer days, it’s important to remember how damaging heatwaves can be.

In 2009, the heatwave that preceded Black Saturday killed 374 people. The economic impact on Australia’s workforce from heatwaves is US$6.2 billion a year (almost AU$9 billion). And just last summer, extreme temperature records tumbled, contributing to Australia’s unprecedented bushfire season.

Well, people setting fires contributed to the bushfires, but, whatever, we have a Narrative

Our new study – the first worldwide assessment of heatwaves at the regional scale – found heatwaves have become longer and more frequent since 1950. And worryingly, we found this trend has accelerated. (snip through explanation as to their definition of a heatwave)

We found almost every global region has experienced a significant increase in heatwave frequency since 1950. For example, southern Australia has experienced, on average, one extra heatwave day per decade since 1950.

However, other regions have experienced much more rapid increases. The Mediterranean has seen approximately 2.5 more heatwave days per decade, while the Amazon rainforest has seen an extra 5.5 more heatwave days per decade since 1950.

The global average sits at approximately two extra heatwave days per decade.

Can’t you just feel the doom? I’m not even going to get into how dumb this all is, I’ve done it before.

While Australia may be no stranger to heatwaves in the past, those we see in the future under these accelerating trends will certainly be foreign.

For example, a 2014 study found that depending on where you are in Australia, anywhere between 15 and 50 extra heatwave days will occur by 2100 compared to the second half of the 20th century.

But, it is pure prognostication of future doom.

We can still abate those trends if we work collectively, effectively and urgently to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

So, they should demand that the University of New South Wales, where this is published, should give up its own use of fossil fuels.

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2 Responses to “DOOM: The World Has Had Two Extra Heatwave Days Per Decade Because You Ate A Burger”

  1. Professor hale says:

    Two days per decade on the other side of the planet? I can live with that.

  2. Dana says:

    Two extra heatwave days per decade? As in one extra heatwave day every five years? That’s not even news; that’s a rounding error.

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