PARIS: The world experienced an average of 26 more days of extreme heat over the last 12 months that would probably not have occurred without climate change, a report said on Tuesday.

Heat is the leading cause of climate-related death and the report further points to the role of global warming in increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather around the world.

For this study, scientists used the years 1991 to 2020 to determine what temperatures counted as within the top 10 per cent for each country over that period.

Next, they looked at the 12 months to May 15, 2024, to establish how many days over that period experienced temperatures within — or beyond — the previous range.

Then, using peer-reviewed methods, they examined the influence of climate change on each of these excessively hot days.

They concluded that “human-caused climate change added — on average, across all places in the world — 26 more days of extreme heat than there would have been without it”.

The report was published by the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, the World Weather Attrib­ution scientific network and the nonprofit research orga­n­isation Climate Central.

2023 was the hottest year on record, according to the EU’s climate monitor, Cope­r­nicus. The report said that in the last 12 months some 6.3 billion people — roughly 80 per cent of the global population — experienced at least 31 days of what is classed as extreme heat.

In total, 76 extreme heatwaves were registered in 90 different countries on every continent except Antarctica. Five of the most affected nations were in Latin America.

Published in Dawn, May 29th, 2024

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