'Mega-heatwaves' more likely

2011-03-18 07:21

kalahari.com

  • Climate Change
    Read more about the environmental changes and challenges the world faces. Now R261.00
    buy now

London - "Mega-heat waves" like the one that hit Russia and other parts of eastern Europe in 2010 are up to 10 times more likely to occur over the next 40 years and could have serious consequences, scientists said on Thursday.

In a study published in the journal Science, researchers from Portugal, Switzerland, Germany and Spain said the 2010 heat wave was hotter and more widespread than Europe's 2003 heat wave, but another one like it was unlikely until after 2050.

So-called "mega-heat waves" will probably become five to 10 times more likely over the next 40 years in Europe, they wrote, but "the magnitude of the 2010 event was so extreme that despite this increase, the occurrence... over the same region remains fairly unlikely until the second half of the 21st century."

Last year's heat wave hit Russia particularly hard, leading to average temperatures for Moscow of 7.6°C above normal in July.

The researchers, led by David Barriopedro at the University of Lisbon, cited preliminary estimates that in Russia alone, there were more than 55 000 heat-related deaths, extensive wildfires, an annual crop failure of about 25%, and economic losses of around 1% of gross domestic product.

Severe

Finland, Ukraine and Belarus also had extreme high temperatures around the same time.

To put the 2010 heat wave into perspective, Barriopedro's team compared it with other heat waves reaching back to 1871, in terms of length, spatial extent and temperature.

Their analysis found the 2010 heat wave was more severe than the one in 2003, and showed at least two summers in this decade have most likely been the warmest of the last 510 years in Europe.

"Our results reveal that... there is an increasing likelihood of 'mega-heat waves' over highly populated areas of Europe with magnitudes such that they would exceed the exceptional current seasonal maxima of western Europe within the next four decades and of eastern Europe afterward," the researchers concluded.

"Given the disastrous effects of the 2003 and 2010 events, these results venture serious risks of simultaneous adverse impacts over large areas if no adaptive strategies are adopted."

Read more on:    climate change
NEXT ON NEWS24X

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
7 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
 

Cope: Zuma must listen to religious leaders

Cope has called on President Jacob Zuma to listen to religious leaders calling for him to come clean on the Nkandla saga.

 
 

Latest elections multimedia

Why Jack Parow wants you to vote on 7 May
The ad the SABC doesn't want to air
Elections 2014 in one cartoon
This year's election posters
 
Traffic
Lottery
 
  • Monday Sir Lowry's Pass - 12:58 PM
    Road name: N2 Westbound
    EXPECT DELAYS due to high volumes
  • Monday Somerset West - 12:58 PM
    Road name: N2 Westbound
    EXPECT DELAYS due to high volumes
 
More traffic reports...
 

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Escape winter, head to Mauritius

Escape winter by spending 7 nights in Mauritius' tropical bliss from R13 215 per person sharing. Includes return flights, airport transfers and accommodation. Book now!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Get many eggs in one basket!

Gaming bundles: 2 Super Hits games for R99, 3 Disney games for R99 and more + exclusive accessory bundles only available on kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

25% off bestselling books!

The Real Meal Revolution by Tim Noakes, Jeffrey Archer’s Be Careful What You Wish for, Man’s Search for Meaning by Victor E. Frank and many more titles. Shop now!

Up to 25% off electronics

Buy top electronics and save up to 25%. Such as kalahari.com’s 1# selling product the gobii eReader, Patriot X Porter flash drive, Asus Nexus 7” 3G tablet, Samsung Galaxy SIII, Lenovo G580 Notebook and many more. Shop now!

DStv HD PVR Decoder now R949

The DStv HD PVR Decoder has further revolutionised the television experience with lifelike viewing, sharper images, more vibrant colours and precision picture quality. Now R949, save R550. Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now!

Up to 30% off appliances & homeware

Save up to 30% on appliances and homeware this Easter! Offer valid while stocks last. Shop now.

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Samsung Galaxy S III 16GB

There are no straight lines in nature. The Samsung  GALAXY...

From R3515.00

I'm shopping for:

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

There may be a break through, either through quiet contemplative time to connect to your deep side or forced on you by...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.