August 06, 2018

Northern hemisphere countries break multiple heat records

Northern hemisphere countries break multiple heat records

Last July, a small community outside Toronto broke its 140-year weather record. Reaching 33.9 Celsius, the town of Kincardine topped its previous high of 33.3 Celsius.

The small Canadian community is not the only place experiencing unusually high temperatures this summer.

Finland, Japan, and a number of counties in China experienced their hottest July on record. Even in the Arctic Circle, temperatures tipped above 30C, and record highs were broken in Finland, Norway, Amsterdam, the UK, Ireland, Spain, and France.

Climate scientists have linked these extremes to larger trends in global warming and predict that UK summers could regularly reach 38.5C by the 2040s.

Research suggests rising temperatures will reduce time spent working and enjoying outdoor leisure, while increasing indoor leisure, writes Marie Connolly.

“The burden will fall disproportionately on workers in industries more exposed to heat and those who live in warmer regions, with the potential to increase existing patterns of inequalities. This is likely to trigger an adaptation, the scope and mechanisms of which are hard to predict, and will undoubtedly entail costs.”

Furthermore, “research finds that hot weather causes a fall in birth rates nine months later,” says Alan Barreca. “Evidence suggests that this decline in births is due to hot weather harming reproductive health around the time of conception.”

Read further articles on the environment and the labor market.