World Climate

Deadly Heatwave Grips Northern Hemisphere as Summer Begins

A scorching heatwave is gripping cities across the Northern Hemisphere, raising concerns about climate change. Record-breaking temperatures are suspected to have caused hundreds, if not thousands, of deaths in recent days, particularly in Europe and Asia.

In Saudi Arabia, hundreds of Muslim pilgrims performing the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca have died due to the extreme heat, with temperatures exceeding 51°C.  Separately, in Europe, several tourists have died from the heat, with authorities urging people to stay indoors during the hottest parts of the day.

The heatwave is affecting countries across the Mediterranean, Balkans, and North Africa, with wildfires breaking out in some regions.  In the United States, millions of people in the Northeast and Midwest are under heat advisories as a heat dome traps hot air over the region.

India has been battling an extended heatwave, with New Delhi recording its warmest night in at least 55 years.  The country has seen over 40,000 suspected heatstroke cases and at least 110 confirmed deaths since March.

Scientists believe climate change is a major factor behind the increased frequency and intensity of heatwaves.  The past 12 months have been the warmest on record globally, and the World Meteorological Organization predicts a high likelihood of a new record being set in the next five years.

Unless greenhouse gas emissions are curbed, scientists warn that heatwaves will become even more common, intense, and long-lasting.  This could have devastating consequences for human health and ecosystems around the world.

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