Climate Change Added 26 Days of Extreme Heat Over the Last Year

Number of days of extreme heat added by climate change.

Number of days of extreme heat added by climate change. Climate Central / World Weather Attribution / Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre

Over the last 12 months, the world saw, on average, 26 additional days of extreme heat as a result of climate change, a new analysis finds.

“Year after year, human-induced climate change manifests through more intense and frequent extreme weather events, with heat waves being the most dramatically affected,” wrote researchers from Climate Central, World Weather Attribution, and the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre.

The analysis defined “extreme” heat as hotter than 90 percent of local weather since 1991. Researchers tallied days where climate change had doubled the odds of such heat. Countries nearest the equator — Indonesia, Brazil, the Democratic Republic of the Congo — saw the greatest uptick in extreme heat. In the most severe cases, Suriname and Ecuador saw more than 150 extra days.

Other regions — southern Australia, northern India, Siberia — saw only a few additional days of extreme heat. The global average was 26 extra days.

The analysis spanned May 2023 to May 2024, a period of unprecedented weather globally. 2023 was the hottest year ever recorded, July the hottest month, and July 6 the hottest day. Each of the last 11 months broke a monthly heat record.

“This is not a surprise or an accident,” authors wrote. “The causes are well known and the impacts devastating.”


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