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Deadly Heat Waves Continue to Worsen

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Deadly Heat Waves Continue to Worsen

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Devastating heat waves resulting in widespread power outages, wildfires, droughts and death could become more frequent, a study by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention revealed.

According to the organization, “Average temperatures around the world have become warmer since the start of the 20th century, and they have risen at a particularly fast rate during the last 50 years. Nine of the ten warmest years on record have occurred since 2000.”

“Extreme heat was the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the United States from 2000 through 2009,” the report stated.

While the cause of the warming remains a topic of debate, many weather experts have noticed a drastic change within the last few years.

LiveScience reported, “[America] is experiencing ‘almost three record highs for every record low,’ says Gerald ‘Jerry’ Meehl, a senior scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research (NCAR). ‘As the climate continues to warm, we can expect more intense, longer lasting and more frequent heat waves in the future. We will still have cold snaps, but fewer of them.’”

Sweltering heat waves in India this year have already resulted in deaths.

“As many as 524 people were killed since April 1, this year in Andhra Pradesh due to sunstroke, as severe heat wave conditions continued unabated in the state,” a local newspaper, Deccan Chronicle, reported.

Pakistan has also been scorched by prolonged and extreme heat.

The Guardian stated, “Near-record temperatures in Pakistan have claimed hundreds of lives and devastated crops in the third major heatwave in four years…Urban conditions were particularly bad because the heatwave led to power cuts which in turn led to violent protests. Many families were unable to pump water or run air conditioners.”

According to President Jim Yong Kim of World Bank Group, which published a study on the effects of increased heat waves, if temperatures across the globe continue to escalate, it could also result in dwindling food production and loss of life.

“This new report outlines an alarming scenario for the days and years ahead—what we could face in our lifetime,” he stated.

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