Climate change is real
The world has never been this hot in living memory. Indeed, the summer of temperature extremes just keeps going, with record heat waves this month on all four continents that occupy the non-tropical Northern Hemisphere where it is now summer. On Monday, Japan recorded a temperature never before reached on the island nation since reliable records began in the 1800s. Kumagaya, a city only 40 miles from Tokyo, hit 41.1 degrees Celsius (106 Fahrenheit) in the midst of a multi-week heat wave that has killed at least 44 people. The extreme temperatures are also affecting other countries in East Asia: South and North Korea have set heat records with temperatures climbing near 40 degree-C (104 F). It is these types of heat waves that scientists have been warning would be a consequence of warming the planet through greenhouse gas emissions. The impacts of Climate Change are no longer subtle. They are playing out in real time in the form of unprecedented heat waves, floods, droughts and wildfires. Much of Europe has been baking under a massive high-pressure ridge that is allowing tropical heat to climb all the way to the Arctic and blocking cooling rainfalls from ending the stretch of hot weather. Temperatures above 32 degree-C extended to the northern reaches of Scandinavia, setting records in Sweden, Finland and Norway for stations above the Arctic Circle. In Northern Africa's Sahara Desert, certainly, no stranger to sweltering temperatures, a record high was recorded in Ouargla, Algeria. The mark of 51.3 degree-C (124 F) is the highest temperature ever reliably recorded on the African continent, according to the World Meteorological Organisation. This month, a brutal heat wave also struck Canada, which saw temperatures peak in Montreal on July 2. There were at least 70 heat-related deaths across the province of Quebec. In the US, July heat waves have stretched from the highly populated Northeast to the desert Southwest. July has witnessed 41 heat records set across the US. "Cold and hot, wet and dry, we experience natural weather conditions all the time," said Katharine Hayhoe, a climate scientist at Texas Tech University. Although it will still get cold during the winter and there will be colder-than-normal spells from time-to-time, the heat will return and summers are getting hotter. 2018 is the hottest La Niña year on record (the cooling of the ocean waters in the Pacific during La Niña tends to cool the planet), according to the World Meteorological Association, and with La Niña fading away and El Niño (which warms the Pacific Ocean) likely to take its place, things are only going to get hotter. Climate Change has well and truly struck with all the nightmarish predictions coming true. There is still time for man to tackle the situation on a war footing. Activating the Paris Climate Control Treaty for starters.