The city of Ahvaz in Iran has set what could be a truly astonishing record this week by recording one of the hottest temperatures on Earth.
According to Weather Underground and French meteorologist Etienne Kapikian, the city reached a staggering 128.7 degrees making it by far the highest recorded temperature in Iran and potentially one of the highest ever recorded on Earth.
While those figures might sound almost suffocating the city’s 1.1m inhabitants would have actually felt even hotter as the heat index (which takes humidity into account) reached a whopping 142 degrees.
In case you’re wondering the all-time hottest temperature ever recorded was 134 degrees at Death Valley, California in 1913.
Iran and the middle-east weren’t the only places to experience soaring temperatures. In fact Europe, and in particular the UK suffered from a major heatwave culminating in Wednesday’s recorded spike of 94.1 degrees at London’s Heathrow Airport.
While we all love a scorching hot summer, scientists believe these record figures can only be attributed to one underlying factor, and sadly it is manmade.
Researchers from the World Weather Attribution believe that the data they’re seeing is consistent with human-caused climate change.
“We found clear and strong links between this month’s record warmth and human-caused climate change,” said Geert Jan van Oldenborgh, senior researcher at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI).
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Friederike Otto, a senior researcher at Oxford University adds: “This extreme event attribution analysis makes clear that European heat waves have become more frequent, and in the South of Europe at least 10 times more frequent.”
Otto went on to say that it was ‘critical’ that scientists and public health experts should start talking to cities about how they can implement heat action plans as these spikes become more frequent.
To make matters worse, a team of eminent climate scientists recently published a report which gave national governments just three years to start tackling climate change or it will quite simply be too late.
While meeting the Paris Agreement targets are going to be incredibly difficult, experts argue that inaction will be almost immeasurably more harmful than the transitionary process to try and reach those goals.
Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation and a signatory on the article, said: “2020 is a hard deadline. There’s no turning back if we don’t bend the emissions curve within three years…there are no jobs on a dead planet.”
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