There is no doubt it has been hot this summer. The East Coast experienced a huge heatwave in the middle of July that took power out in some places. Places in Belgium, France, and Germany are all seeing record-breaking temperatures for the second time in two months. It seems that there is nothing but a swelteringly hot summer in the future.
The director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center, Michael Mann, says that there is a reason – climate change.
Why We Should Be Worried About the Heat
You might think that it getting a little bit hotter is annoying, but not a big deal. You would be wrong.
The higher the temperature goes, the dryer the land is going to get. That dry land will make drought worse, and increase the frequency and intensity of wildfires. We have seen this over the past few years in California and Washington, but if something doesn’t change it will get even worse.
Extreme heat is also dangerous. According to the National Weather Service, there were 108 people who died in 2018 from extreme heat. Compare that to the 80 people that died that year from flooding and the 71 that died from rip currents, and you begin to realize that extreme heat really is the most dangerous of all weather phenomena we experience.
Don’t think 2018 was an outlier, either – about 136 people die on average every year due to the heat. If the temperatures continue to rise and the frequency of these heatwaves increases, more deaths are expected to happen.
Climate Change is Responsible for All of the Extreme Weather This Year
In middle America, farmers had issues this year with getting their crops planted on time because it wouldn’t stop raining long enough to dry out the fields. Mann says that climate change is responsible for that, too.
He explains that when the temperature is high, the air holds more moisture. That extra moisture means that when it rains, it really rains. Small showers may be a thing of the past if this trend continues because the worse greenhouse gases get, the hotter it will be. And the more rain there will be.
Mann says that the only way to prevent this from getting worse is a large-scale plan akin to what the world did in WWII, or how we put a man on the moon. It must be a full operation with everyone involved to make it a success.
Otherwise, you can expect more intense rain. More drought. And a whole lot more heat.