In the Middle East, soaring summer temperatures are a fact of life, one of the non-mutable elements that occur as the seasons roll around. But spare a thought for those living in the Northwest quadrant of the United States and Canada as the region frizzles in an unprecedented heatwave. And according to forecasters, there will be no let-up in the much higher temperatures than average for the next couple of weeks at least.
Canada has recorded its highest-ever temperature in British Columbia — a picturesque region known for its snow-capped mountains. There the community of Lytton in British Columbia soared to 46.6C. This high pressure zone is huge, from California right up to Canada’s Arctic territories and stretching inland through Idaho.
Weather experts blame a “heat dome” — static high pressure acting like a lid on a cooking pot — and both the United States and Canada have warned citizens of “dangerous” heat levels that could persist this week.
Our changing climate
There is a reality too that this weather is also the result of our changing climate — more extreme heatwaves, more dangerous weather and rain phenomena — brought about by the fact that our activities are warming this planet we all share at an increasingly alarming rate.
In November, global experts and world leaders will gather in Glasgow for COP26, the international climate summit. There, experts will try and reach an agreement on setting lower carbon emission rates, seeking unity in putting in place measures that will result in at least stopping the current warming process and, ideally, lowering it.
The reality is that for years we have been warned that if we did not take concrete action to lower our emissions, there would be consequences — and more extreme weather events would be one sign on the dangers facing us all. Certainly, there can be no doubting that the summer oven now baking California and Canada are unusual and are likely caused by climate change.
The UAE is wholly committed to taking whatever steps are necessary to protect this planet and our environment. Other nations must follow suit. The clock is ticking and temperatures are rising. How much longer can the doubters and naysayers stand against rising tides and higher temperatures. The evidence is here and now. And so too the need for urgent action. We simply must act together now to stop climate change.