Extreme Weather: Hotter than July

Last Update: Aug 1, 2022

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I would like to unseat my good friend, Jeff Brown momentarily as the house “meteorologist” and write about the heatwaves we have been experiencing in our cities and communities!

Every part of the United States of America and Europe has experienced an astronomical rise in temperature this past month. A heatwave has been rolling across the US pushing temperatures to triple digits in most places with attendant sweltering heat.

According to data from the National Center for Environmental Information at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric administration ( NOAA ) “ More than 7 percent of the earth’s surface experienced new, mean monthly temperature records this June meaning that the average temperature was the highest for the respective time and location ever recorded.

Even U.K. was not spared of the heatwave.

What is the cause of the spike in temperature?

Simply put, global warming is responsible for the rise in temperature. Human activities have been the main driver of climate change primarily due to burning fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas giving rise to carbon emissions into the atmosphere.They act as a blanket making the earth warmer than it should otherwise be.

What are the implications of the sudden spike in temperature?

The implications are dire. An exposure to extreme heat can give rise to heat stress which can lead to illnesses like heat exhaustion and heat stroke. Heat exhaustion can cause dizziness, a weak pulse, nausea and fainting. Heat stroke is similar to a heart attack which affects the blood vessels in the brain instead of the heart.

Periods of extended high temperatures can lead to increased cardiovascular and respiratory mortality as well as heart attack.

Individuals with pre-existing medical conditions, the young, the elderly, construction and agricultural workers who work mostly outside in the sun are vulnerable to physical harm from the sun.

Animals have been forced out of their natural habitats by the overpowering heat from the sun. Stories abound of bears and foxes roaming around people’s backyards rummaging for food in their trash cans, and in some cases making away with their domestic animals.

There has been cases of flash flooding of our cities. The convectional, torrential rains caused by the extreme heat combines with the excess water from the melting snow from mountain tops to flood underlying cities and pose a danger to people and animals. Kentucky state is currently experiencing over flooding and 37 people have been declared dead.

The extreme heat makes the vegetation drier and ready tinder to start fires. As I write, California is embroiled in an escalating Oak fires near Yosemite. It has burned 16,791 acres so far and is only 40% contained. Last year there were 9,260 fires in California and a whopping 2,333,666 acres of land were burned.

What can we do to prevent the dire consequences of extreme weather?

From a macro level, climate change is a global problem so it makes sense to tackle it from a global perspective. Going back to the Paris Agreement which binds nations to specific standards of gas emission makes a lot of sense to me. I know that some countries have not stuck to those standards and the organization has little or no means of enforcing such standards on members.

The Paris Agreement prescribes keeping global warming below 3.6 degree Fahrenheit. That is slightly more than a third of our current 10 degree Fahrenheit standard. But how many countries would enforce these standards? Quite a number of countries feel it is not in their national interest to follow the Paris Agreement guidelines.

From a micro level, we can all contribute to keeping global warming down by becoming more energy-efficient. Wind and solar energy are more viable alternatives to electricity. Electric cars are efficient alternatives to gasoline run cars with their gas emission. Mercifully, the price of electric cars is plummeting with more car manufacturing companies coming into the electric car market.

Simple practices like carpooling with co-workers and using paper bags to bag our groceries instead of plastic ones are steps in the right direction

The big question is how many of us do engage in such energy-efficient ways to reverse the global warming trend? Is the number enough to even make a dent?

Isn’t it ironical that some practices we engage in to cope with excess heat like air conditioning contributes to global warming?

    Recent Comments



    Thank you for this informative outlay of your thoughts.
    We all can clearly see the effects of global warming.

    The extreme heat causes fires (California is extremely dry). Thank God the summer has been tolerable so far.

    After watching Al Gore's movie "Inconvenient Truth," I am much more conscious of helping out my planet.

    I recycle Everything! We got to start somewhere. We see our glaciers melting, deforestation, oceans are drying up.

    Heck, if we are smart enough to send people up into space, we are smart enough to figure out how to prevent global warming.

    I'm all for electric cars. It can cut back on some of the pollution. Plus, the greenhouse emissions are, literally killing us.
    Our oceans are also contaminated. So marine life is at risk.

    People are still using plastic bags. When wastes are dumped into landfills, oftentimes it ends up in our oceans. In particular, our fish end up eating these plastic bags. In turn, we buy fish and now we are eating plastic. It's a vicious cycle.

    Dadaz, we need solutions like yesterday.
    My belief is that we can turn things around if you start by making small changes; like carpooling and using paper instead of plastic bags.
    I love driving the freeways. However, I notice that there is usually 1 driver in each car, for the most part. Hopefully, this too shall pass.

    An environment enthusiast,


    Thank you for your proactive contributions to alleviating the challenge of global warming.
    Thank you also for your well-written and informative piece.

    Global warming worries me. When I see Penguins and Polar Bears life patterns changing I wonder how they can survive.

    In 2014 we had a solar electric system installed in our home. We’ve been able to supply almost all our energy needs drawing very little from the utility company. We’re doing our bit. We hope to own an electric car one day.



    Edwin, thank you for doing your bit in tamping down global warming. We need a critical mass of people to do same for us to have any meaningful change.
    I wish to join you in owning one of those sleek electric cars one of these days

    It feels like it's getting hotter and hotter in Arizona. I've seen succulents just dried up on the balcony of a few friends. Mine was never in the sun but under my awning and it turned black and rotted.

    Global warming is a serious problem. I'm usually an outdoorsy person and have loved the heat in the summer but this year I find myself tired or having a headache after 30 mins of being outside, and this was under the shade. Had plenty of water and electrolytes.

    This heat is nothing new. I remember when I was a kid, we had the same heat, if not worse! And we didn't have air conditioning!

    That must have been tough, not having air conditioners!

    I think you should let the doctor know of your condition. Don't you think so?

    The incessant heat makes one tired. I would suggest you see the doctor if the headache persists.

    We have come to the conclusion that there is nothing wrong with me. Thanks for the concern. My headache now is paying back 5 grand of Dr. visits 😂

    I am happy you got checked out by the doctor, and got a confirmation nothing is wrong.

    Here in Alaska we experience this more than ever. The high latitudes are warming faster than anywhere else on Earth. Our oceans with cold water can hold more carbon dioxide so ocean acidification is already occurring here as well. So the cold deep water is acidifying and the surface water in the ocean, lakes and rivers are all warming. Warm water leads to more outbreaks of shellfish poisoning which is now so common that people have stopped eating shellfish in many areas as it has killed people. We have changes to shellfish, crabs, fish, seabird die offs (when their prey species are no longer available and they starve by the millions and fill beaches with dead birds) and many other effects like increased parasites and disease in fish and loss of the important salmon runs since rivers are getting too warm. That is affecting local communities who depend on the salmon for food.

    We have increased pests like spruce bark beetles which can survive the milder winters now and have spread all across the forested parts of the state. We have increased drought (three months with no rain here this spring/summer) and increased heat. This also brings more and more violent thunder and lightening storms. We had tens of thousands of lightening strikes per day this summer and over 3,000,000 acres burned by July. That is even more than burned in California last year.

    We have flooding, erosion, melting glaciers...I am not just repeating what I read. I have lived here all my life and seen the glaciers shrink, the droughts and heat and fires. My in-laws had to be ready to evacuate due to 3 different forest fires in one summer. The smoke chokes us and burns our eyes and throats. Two years ago the smoke was so bad our air quality was worse than the worst cities in China. Another city in Alaska had the worst air quality on the planet. It gets so thick it is hard to drive.

    I also studied this in graduate school in the fields of Marine and Coastal Climate Change. After decades of experiencing and research I know this is real and it is not just a natural cycle. There are natural cycles but looking at millions of years of geologic records from ice cores, soil samples, dendrochronology, coral reef sections etc. we can see this is worse than anything in the past.

    Sorry to be so dire, but people need to know this is real!

    It was over 90 degrees here a few years ago which was record breaking since we are on the ocean right here and it should never get that hot. This summer it was in the 80's for months which was still record breaking. The weather has finally turned for us and we are getting rain and cool air which feels lovely and has put out some of the fires.


    Jessica, thank God for the relief. Here, in the Golden state of California, we are still stuck in high temperatures and escalating wildfires

    I have seen that on the news. I am very sorry.

    Thank you so much. I appreciate your sympathy. So many people have been rendered homeless as a result of the wildfires.

    Yes, we are pretty lucky. Most of our fires this summer were in remote areas. In previous years we have had more homes destroyed. It is traumatic.

    I was reading there is also only 50 days or less of potable water left in Las Vegas.
    And around the othe side of the world in Vietnam we have been having cooler weather than we normally gat this time of year..
    Strange days indeed.

    That to me is a classical definition of climate change!

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