Extreme heatwaves will continue through August, WMO adviser says – National

Following record-breaking temperatures in recent weeks, heat waves are expected to last through August in much of the world, a heat wave adviser said Friday.

The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) said earlier this week that it expected temperatures to exceed 40 degrees Celsius (104 degrees Fahrenheit) for “an extended period this week as heat waves intensify” in North America, Asia, North Africa and the Mediterranean.

“We need to expect, or at least plan for, this extreme heat wave to last until August,” John Nairn, WMO’s senior heat advisor, told Reuters.

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Southern Europe has been hit by record heatwaves during the peak summer tourist season, with officials warning of an increased risk of health problems and deaths.

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Extreme weather is also disrupting the lives of millions of Americans, with dangerous heat spreading from Southern California to the Deep South. Sweltering heat is hitting the Middle East as well.

Nairn said climate change will make heat waves more frequent and spread across seasons.

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“As global temperatures rise, heat waves tend to increase in intensity and frequency,” Nairn said.

“We’re already seeing clear signs of growth heading into spring.”

Some countries, including the 27-member European Union, are hoping that at the UN climate talks later this year, countries will agree to phase out climate-causing fossil fuel consumption.

Countries with oil and gas resources oppose the idea.

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“There is very strong evidence that phasing out fossil fuels can reduce a major contributor to the situation we are seeing,” Nairn said.

“We can’t turn things around quickly, but we can certainly take action.”

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