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July Heatwave

Written by Youthopeian's Hyderabad Chapter

Temperatures have been rapidly rising since the 1980s due to the ever-increasing greenhouse gas emissions, gap in the ozone layer, and natural disasters such as volcanic eruptions. Temperature changes have caused rising sea levels, increases in heat strokes, wildfires, and droughts around the world. In the summer of 2021, temperatures peaked around the world and the hottest month ever was recorded. The death toll of the heatwave was over 1,500. The effects of the high temperature can be seen in the Pacific Northwest especially.

The Pacific Northwest experienced a record-breaking heatwave last summer. The heatwave extended from Alaska, through British Columbia, all the way down to California and lasted from late June into mid-July. During this heatwave temperatures in Canada reached just under 50℃ or 120℉.

The effects of this heatwave were tremendous. The heatwave itself caused wildfires that released 343 megatonnes of carbon or 343,000,000,000 kilograms of carbon. In 2020 alone, over 6.4 million hectares of land were burned in California and Oregon. Additionally, the heat caused damage to infrastructures such as public roads. Roads started to crack and warp, causing them to become dangerous to drive on and expensive to repair. Many businesses also had to close due to the extreme temperature.

Alongside damages to infrastructure and the economy, agriculture also suffered. Crops were damaged which will likely raise global food prices. Furthermore, low-income sustenance farmers who only grow crops for themselves suffered from the damage to the agricultural sector.