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Thursday, 18 April 2024 14:21

Deadly heatwave in West Africa – climate change as the main cause

Deadly heatwave in West Africa – climate change as the main cause pixabay

The recent heatwave that swept through West Africa and the Sahel region is recognized as a direct effect of human-induced climate change. Scientists from the World Weather Attribution group confirm that the extremely high temperatures observed would not have been possible without the long-term impact of greenhouse gas emissions from coal, oil, and gas usage. Last month, temperatures in Mali exceeded 48°C, leading to tragic consequences—hundreds of deaths directly linked to this extreme weather phenomenon by local hospitals.

What will you learn?

1.How does climate change affect the frequency and intensity of heatwaves in West Africa?
2. What impact have human activities had on local temperatures in Mali and Burkina Faso?
3. What is El Niño, and how has it affected recent droughts in southern Africa?
4. What are the potential health effects associated with high temperatures in the Sahel region?
5. What actions can be taken to adapt to and mitigate the negative effects of climate change in Africa?

Long-term impact of human activity on the climate

Analyses show that the average temperature in Mali and Burkina Faso was 1.5°C higher than usual, and nighttime temperatures exceeded the average by 2°C. This significantly impacted the health and lives of people in the region. Scientists note that even a small increase in temperature can have devastating effects on public health.

El Niño and droughts in southern Africa

In the context of other climatic phenomena, scientists note that the recent droughts in southern Africa were the result of El Niño, not directly climate change. While climate change may increase the frequency and intensity of such events, current studies indicate a significant impact of El Niño on reducing rainfall in the region, leading to periods of dry months.

The importance of understanding and adaptation

The conclusions of the studies emphasize the importance of understanding the complex interactions between natural phenomena and climate changes caused by humans. This knowledge is crucial for developing effective adaptation strategies and reducing the negative effects of climate change on the health and safety of people worldwide.

Above all, it is necessary to increase global awareness of the impact our actions have on the climate and the consequences these changes bring for different regions of the world. Only through global actions and cooperation can threats be effectively countered and the risk of natural disasters caused by climate changes be reduced.

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