A recent report from the World Weather Attribution (WWA) scientific network revealed that global warming, caused mainly by human activity and not by the El Niño phenomenon, was the main driver of the recent heat wave that affected South America. The study, which analyzed temperatures between September 17 and 26, highlighted that climate change, a result of the burning of fossil fuels, made rising temperatures at least “100 times more likely” at an unusually early spring. warm.
Large areas of the Southern Cone experienced high temperatures, reaching 40°C in regions of Brazil, Bolivia, Argentina, and Paraguay. The heat wave caused four deaths in Sao Paulo, highlighting the danger of high temperatures, especially in the spring, before people acclimatize. Julie Arrighi, director of the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, said temperatures above 40 °C in early spring are extremely unusual and dangerous.
The report emphasized that if measures are not taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, spring heat waves will become more intense in the future. Additionally, she highlighted the importance of adaptation to extreme heat to reduce morbidity and mortality. Despite inevitable losses due to future extreme heat, the report stressed that human impacts are not inevitable and that effective adaptation, including early warning and public awareness, can make a difference in protecting vulnerable people and crucial ecosystems to regulate our climate.