Heatwaves in India and Pakistan:how does it Concern Africa?
Will Africa escape the fate of India and Pakistan, or it already experiencing it silently?
Heat in Kolkata, Credit, Pacific Press
It has not been an easy period in India. It has not been the best of times for Indian cities, with the pre-monsoon heatwaves ravaging the northern part of the country. It has not been a good time for hundreds of millions of people, and the poor bears the brunt of the 49C temperature, and the blistering heat sets many on the edge, and scientists predict temperatures could reach new highs in the coming days.
The same thing happens with Pakistan, which suffers with India. The same scenario takes place in the cities, with the pre-monsoon heat devastating the nooks and crannies of the country. The same thing takes place in this part of the world, where extreme heat poses a serious hazard to people’s health, where the temperature rivals those found in the hot places in Africa, where peak temperatures rise to 51C a few Saturdays ago.
Melting ice in Antarctica, Credit, CBS News
The Antarctica experienced the same thing a few weeks ago. Of course, its heat did not escalate to the levels seen in India and Pakistan. But comparatively, it amounts to the same thing. It equals the same thing because the heat recorded in Antarctica reached record-breaking levels. It represents the same thing, because the heat sent shock waves around the world, made a lot of people to take a notice of the disaster happening before our very eyes, alerting the unwary that something momentous happened at one of the coldest places on earth.
The disaster happening before our very eyes relates to the increasing heat. The world saw temperature records breaking at the Antarctica. It sees heat records shattering in Pakistan, with some saying this weather event could become the new normal in the coming years. The world sees heatwaves spiraling out of control in India, with people seeking a refuge under bridges, with newspapers and magazines and TV networks screaming about the rising heat, with experts saying the present spell makes record-breaking temperatures 100 times more likely, with the heat posing a danger to the elderly or people with pre-existing health conditions.
Ravaging heat in Pakistan, Credit, Time
It’s climate change causing this record-breaking heat. Sure, India records a high temperature during the pre-monsoon period, but a State of Climate Report from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO), the UN’s atmospheric science arm, blames climate change. Again, Pakistan becomes very hot during this period, but scientists say it’s climate change driving the heat intensity of the present situation, making record-breaking temperatures possible, bringing the possibility of it happening again and again.
And the scientists have a point. They ran computer simulations. They carried out computer simulations about the possible weather condition in two scenarios, weather as it is today, weather with climate change elements withdrawn. They ran computer simulations with these scenarios in mind, through 14 different computer models, producing dozens of different occurrences, and they found out that worse happenings lurk in the near future, that by the end of the century, India and Pakistan can expect crazily high temperatures year after year.
Rising sea levels, Credit, Theguardiancom
They can expect these kinds of temperatures year after year because climate change elements like greenhouse gases remain high in the atmosphere. They can expect these kinds of climate troubles because sea levels experience rises, swallowing communities, displacing millions of people from their homes. They can expect this kind of trouble because ocean heat persists, ocean acidification exists, increased carbon dioxide presence exists. The people in India and Pakistan can expect record high temperature levels during their pre-monsoon period because climate change indicators set new records year after year, making record-breaking temperatures 100 percent more likely in places like Africa.
The experience in India presages the likely occurrences in Africa. The high-temperature scenario in Pakistan serves as a pointer to the same thing occurring in Africa, as the high-temperature levels in India and Pakistan show a world-wide trend. The hike in the Antarctica temperature brings negative news to Africa, already considered the hottest continent, where heat already prevails even without the climate change, presaging the likely occurrence in this part of the world.
Intense heat in Africa, Credit, Climate Home News
Of course, Africa presents a problem on this issue. From time immemorial, government officials refrain from recording accurately temperature levels. Weather agencies shirk their duty in systematically putting down temperature figures, leading to a situation where official documents record little or no heatwaves in the continent. Scientists shy from their duty in recording the heat in the continent, but there’s no doubt that heatwaves prevail, even though discussions tend to leave the continent out of talk on the issue.
To show the dimension of the problem, Morocco on May 20 recorded its national hottest day average with 45.7C at Sidi Slimane. It recorded 41.3C at Fez, then 41.6C at Oujda. It recorded 41.76C at Mekness, 43.4C at Larache on the Atlantic Coast, and sundry high temperatures at other parts of the country. The high figures at the cities in the country could mirror the dimensions of the problems in other parts of Africa, with countries recording their national hottest days in the climate change crisis.
In essence, record-breaking temperatures could characterize the continent with climate change. Record-breaking heatwaves could pervade the continent, if the same thing took place in India. Record-breaking temperatures could become the new normal in the continent, and it does not matter whether the relevant agencies record the figures or not, because the occurrence of high temperatures show a consistency with the effects of climate change on a world-wide basis.
In addition, the turbulence in India could be replicated on the African continent. The condition in Pakistan over the high temperatures stares at Africa on the face, with the poor likely to bear the brunt of the effects from the heatwaves. The steady rise of temperatures in Antarctica could take place on the Africa continent, if it has not already taken place, with heatwaves posing a serious hazard to people’s health, thresholds exceeded everywhere on the continent.
Heat in Africa, Credit, The Globe Post
Through heat-induced climate change, Africa can show vulnerabilities. The continent can show challenges as the heat escalates, more challenges than India and Pakistan show in their present travails. Africa can become vulnerable to premature deaths, especially as weather agencies refrain from systematically reporting effects of extreme heat, putting lots of people in harm’s way. The continent could find itself facing terrible issues, with the few adaptation efforts in place, with inventories of weather-related disasters displaying stark discrepancies, with the huge poverty rates and informal settlements and the need for outdoor work prevailing.
To overcome the challenges posed by the stark discrepancies of weather-related disasters on the continent, and overcome prospects of high temperatures, steps must be taken to prevent events such as premature deaths. Policies need to be implemented in the world’s hottest continent, or the poor, once again, bears the brunt of the heatwaves currently ravaging India and Pakistan. Measures must be taken against the record-breaking temperatures, because climate change makes them a new normal the world over, affecting African children and the vulnerable and women and others who become victims of climate-change-induced premature deaths.
Consequently, nations on the continent need documents to record data on heatwaves. They require platforms to analyze impacts of events resulting from intense heatwaves, such as the large amount of premature deaths from rising heat. They need to gather places to store key information about rising temperatures, so that measures towards adaptation and mitigation can be easily implemented, to prevent the needless challenges facing the weak and vulnerable and the helpless.
In addition, plans towards heat actions can be beneficial. Going forwards, too, plans towards a better analysis of historical heat can improve warnings, with the response system to be developed useful at mitigating effects of heatwaves. Also, plans towards the collaboration between scientists, hospitals, and others should be encouraged, as this can help identify effects of extreme heat in Africa against effects from drought and other hazards.
Simple measures should be taken. For example, a simple measure such as opening public buildings can make places to be cool, which can halt dangers coming from heat. A simple measure like distributing drinking water could help people cushion themselves against heatwaves, prevent the high temperatures from overwhelming them, or catalyzing other health problems. A simple measure such as creating awareness about looming heatwaves can cut down the risk of disasters, halt heatwaves from becoming killers, allow people with health challenges protect themselves from harm.
African can take lessons from the heatwaves in India and Pakistan and evolve plans to shield themselves from harm. But, unfortunately, Africa can’t do this alone. Other nations should help Africa. Since they brought the climate change through massive gas emissions to all, they should come to assist the hottest continent, which can’t face the challenges alone. They should enable Africa develop warning systems against spectra of premature deaths, help Africa to protect its lands against harms caused by the climate-change-induced heatwaves.