We all know and have been hearing about climate change for a long time. But have you ever sat down and ever wondered what extreme heat can bring and hamper people all around the world?

In this state, climate change is no longer a crisis but a cry for help where people worldwide suffer from its dire consequences.

Many countries worldwide are suffering, and their lifestyles have been changed highly. Let’s look at the places where extreme heat has struck and is changing people’s lives.

Table of Contents

1. India

India is one of the countries under a lot of heat during the hot summer season. With its temperature rising to more than 40 degrees celsius, many people residing in India suffer from sleepless nights due to the heat. 

The urban extreme heat island effect is a phenomenon that affects densely populated, built-up areas in particular. 

Concrete, for example, traps and radiates heat, raising temperatures. And there’s no relief at night when the temperature might rise

Even traditional methods such as drinking milk are of no use in keeping the body cool; a rise in temperature affects their sleep patterns.

India, for example, has had devastating floods, cloudbursts, and landslides in various states this year, resulting in death and destruction.

“This year’s monsoon was more irregular, with rainfall intensity increasing in brief bursts, causing property and human life damage,” said Ravi Shankar Najundiah, director of the Indian Institute of Tropical Meteorology, to DW.

Heavy rain events have significantly increased since 1950, according to experts. Still, total precipitation has decreased, and at least a billion people in the South Asian country must endure at least one month of extreme water scarcity each year.

In recent years, heatwaves have been increasingly common and intense, with numerous cities reporting temperatures above 48 degrees Celsius (118.4 degrees Fahrenheit) in 2020.

India-Pakistan extreme heat waves of 2015
India-Pakistan extreme heat waves of 2015 | Illustration Credit: Encyclopedia Britannica

2. Pakistan

In the city of Jacobabad, people residing in this area have suffered plenty of heatwaves and climate change impacts this year. 

For the residents of Jacobabad, a town of roughly 200,000 people in Sindh province, where temperatures have frequently exceeded 50°C (122°F) over the past four summers, failure to jointly address the climate issue is affecting their rights to health, education, and a healthy environment.

Residents in Jacobabad adapt to the heat by using whatever methods they can, including “donkey-powered” fans and big chunks of ice to cool the floors. 

Agricultural workers frequently use hand pumps to take brief showers or jump into contaminated wastewater that collects in low-lying fields to stay cool during the day, exposing them to skin illnesses. 

Women in the city are particularly vulnerable to severe heat because they lack access to the same cooling devices as men. 

They are not allowed to take short water baths in public like males, nor may they jump into neighboring pools of water like children.

Because sleeping outside exposes women to gender-based and sexual abuse, they are frequently compelled to sleep inside uncomfortable homes.

Jacobabad’s ability to deal with extreme weather has been hampered by deforestation, electricity shortages, a lack of access to water, and inadequate housing.

The majority of schools lack electricity and are largely inaccessible due to a lack of public transportation. 

Many youngsters have dropped out of school due to their aversion to walking long distances in the heat to schools that are ill-equipped to shield them from the scorching weather.

3. United States of America

Climate change has made a vulnerable impact on the United States of America, especially in the west coast regions in states such as California. 

The extreme heat brought a rush of heatwaves and prompted wildfire cases. Rising temperatures and dry conditions have driven this summer’s massive fires.

According to firefighters, the heat has dried up the landscape to the point where it is ripe for ignition, causing fires to spread faster and hotter than they’ve ever seen. 

The Dixie and Caldor fires were the first to blaze from one side of the Sierra to the other, and officials fear that conditions will worsen as fall winds arrive.

More than 2 million acres had been scorched this year, with more than a dozen active wildfires raging across California. 

Heat, dryness, and the possibility of dry lightning could exacerbate existing fires or perhaps start new ones.

With excessive heat waves and wildfires, droughts are another problem California faces this year due to global warming. 

As the drought worsens, California water authorities took extraordinary action this summer by passing an emergency order prohibiting thousands of Californians from diverting stream and river water.

In August, the Metropolitan Water District in Southern California, which serves 19 million people across six counties, issued a water supply alert, urging residents to preserve crucial resources.

The statement came just one day after the US revealed the region’s first-ever water shortfall on the Colorado River, a critical water source. Not only wildfires and droughts, but California has also faced power grids. 

It’s a last-ditch effort by state officials to avoid rolling blackouts in the face of rising energy demand by adding new electricity supplies, including fossil-fuel resources that contribute to climate change and worsening heatwaves — a short-term sacrifice that clean energy.

4. Africa

Extreme heat rise for Africa as per various climate data sources
Extreme heat rise for Africa as per various climate data sources | Graph Credit: WMO

Water resources, in particular, are a sector that is heavily reliant on and impacted by climate change. 

Several African countries are already suffering from severe water scarcity due to insufficient and unreliable water supplies.

Rainfall that produces flooding or alters rainfall patterns. Climate change is accurate, and it is already having an impact. 

It has afflicted Africa’s people and food systems already at risk. In SSA, the population is predicted to rise from 700 million in 2007 to 1100 million in 2010. 

By 2050, the world’s population will have grown to 1500 million people, with more people living in cities. 

As a result, demand is predicted to double in the next few years without considering increases in the early twenty-first century in food and water demand per capita.

Agriculture, which supports roughly three-quarters of Africa’s people, is primarily rain-fed. 

Droughts, flooding, and the loss of arable land owing to desertification and soil erosion are lowering agricultural output and causing crop failure and animal losses, putting rural and pastoralist populations at risk.

5. Nigeria

Nigeria is on the list despite mentioning the whole of Africa is because the region is one of the world’s most polluted, and warmer days and nights are becoming increasingly prevalent.

Gas flares are a popular method used in producing and helping local people in their economics. Due to the extreme heatwaves, these gas flares could cause severe damage in affecting these people’s lives. 

Flares, on the other hand, are a part of the problem. Oil firms use them to burn off-gas released from the ground when drilling for oil. 

The flares, which reach a height of 6 meters (20 feet), are a significant source of CO2 emissions, contributing to climate change. 

Climate change has wreaked havoc in the region, converting agricultural plains into deserts in the north and causing flash flooding in the south.

6. Middle East

Extreme Heat records of various middle east regions
Extreme Heat records of various middle east regions | Heatmap Credit: AccuWeather

Extreme heat and severe droughts destroyed the region, causing woods to burn and cities to become hotspots. 

In June, Kuwait reached 53.2 degrees Celsius (127.76 degrees Fahrenheit), with temperatures in Oman, the United Arab Emirates, and Saudi Arabia exceeding 50 degrees (122 degrees). 

Iraq’s temperature reached 51.5 degrees (124.7 degrees) a month later, while Iran reached 51 degrees (123.8 degrees).

Even for comparatively rich nations like Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, and Yemen, air conditioners have become a luxury. 

These countries, which are burdened by war, Western sanctions, or a self-serving ruling elite, have seen significant protests over a lack of basic amenities as temperatures increase and droughts ravage the land. 

Scenes of social turmoil have provided a look into the region’s future that is most affected by climate change.

Iraqi citizens were forced to take to the streets due to record-breaking temperatures. 

They stopped roads, set fire to tires, and encircled power plants that had to be secured by armed personnel in a fit of rage. 

Ironically, oil-rich Basra in southern Iraq has had some of the most extended power outages and has been the epicenter of protests that have resulted in the deaths of at least three Iraqis. 

Political instability is the primary source of Iraq’s electricity crisis. This month in Lebanon, the same scenario played out.

The Lebanese are already dealing with numerous issues and are irritated by the political elite’s passivity. As the country’s fuel supply ran out, scenes of mayhem erupted across the country. 

Some looted fuel tankers, others raided power facilities, and others brought firearms to gas stations to get ahead of the hundreds of people waiting in line. 

Since the end of the civil war in 1990, three-hour power disruptions have been common in Lebanon.

However, as the economy crashed in 2019, blackouts grew longer, and generators grew louder, causing chaos across the country. 

The central bank removed gasoline subsidies, and generators ran out of fuel. Even individuals in affluent neighborhoods accustomed to air conditioning had to deal with the oppressive heat. 

Daily clashes between individuals at petrol stations were reported in the local press, necessitating the presence of the Lebanese army to oversee distribution and maintain peace. 

A captured fuel tanker exploded while the Lebanese army distributed gasoline, killing approximately 20 people. The remains were burnt beyond recognition, according to doctors.

7. China

Like the rest of the globe, China will be increasingly affected by climate change over the next few decades, including sea-level rise, harsher storms, and more extreme heatwaves. 

According to a 2020 study from China’s National Climate Center, China’s average temperature and sea levels have risen faster than the global average.

Climate change has increased mortality, morbidity, health insults in childhood, and other negative consequences. 

Economic ramifications Include energy supply/demand imbalances, agricultural production losses, and changes in integrated commerce networks. 

Also, the negative impacts of temperature on GDP, poverty, and other macroeconomic effects interact with other changes in terms and bargaining positions of personal relationships (particularly for women and girls), incidents of interpersonal or intergroup violence and hostility, and, worst of all, institutional and state breakdowns and failures. 

Typical examples include the wide-ranging impacts of climate change on migration and demographic equilibrium.

Climate change-related issues, such as poverty, immigration, and related policies, may all be traced back to these components, which can also be considered social development phases. 

Individuals’ environmental and non-environmental interests, for example, will influence their behavior and concerns about climate change. 

Due to climate change, the water supply has become pricey or increasingly difficult to access in many rural and peri-urban populations.

8. Europe

The record-breaking extreme heat of Europe 2019
The record-breaking extreme heat of Europe 2019 | Statistics Credit: Statista

Wildfires raged across Turkey, Greece, Italy, and Finland, with temperatures in Greece expected to exceed Europe’s all-time high of 48 degrees.

While portions of Europe burnt, governments and scientists negotiated online over the final wording of a significant collection of the last seven years of climate science.

Changes in atmospheric CO2 concentrations, increasing temperatures, and altering precipitation patterns can impact soil carbon storage due to climate change. 

Extreme precipitation, rapid melting of snow or ice, large river discharges, and increased droughts are all examples of climate-related occurrences that affect soil degradation. 

The Sixth Assessment Report of the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), due out on August 9, is likely to make firmer conclusions than ever before concerning the links between climate change and extreme weather, such as heatwaves.

Every six or seven years, the IPCC publishes significant reports of the state of climate science. The first section of the sixth edition arrives amid a slew of extreme weather events connected to climate change across Europe, Africa, Asia, and North America.

According to lead author and climatologist Ed Hawkins, “perhaps provide some perspective for the future that we are headed towards.”

9. Australia

Climate change’s most evident present consequences in Australia and elsewhere may be found in the natural environment and are linked to rising temperatures and an increase in the number, duration, and severity of heatwaves. 

Changes in the plant, animal, and insect development and distribution; poleward shifts in marine species distribution; and increased coral bleaching on the Great Barrier Reef and Western Australian reefs are among the effects. 

Some of these changes can directly impact human activities, such as the consequences of altering fish and other marine organism distributions on commercial and recreational fishing and the implications of coral bleaching on tourism.

10. Canada

Extreme heat records of Canada 2021
Extreme heat records of Canada 2021 | Information Credit: Global News

Canada is a massive country with significant variation across and within climate, landscapes, communities, and economy. 

The contrast between the several regional chapters of this examination emphasizes this variation. Trends and projections at the national level give crucial background for these regional studies. 

Climate change has resulted in higher temperatures across parts of Canada, altered precipitation patterns, reduced sea-ice cover, altering hydrological conditions, and changes in some extreme weather occurrences over the last half-century.

Wrapping up

Climate change has not only been a global concern, but it has now reached a point where humans are the most affected by it due to neglect and extreme global warming. 

It is critical that people wake up and take climate change seriously for the sake of future generations and live a healthy lifestyle. 

(Last Updated on February 25, 2022 by Sadrish Dabadi)

Thinley Doma Ghale holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Kathmandu University. She enjoys writing articles on climate change animals and loves to travel and experience new ideas, places, meeting people, and learning from them. As a social science student, research has always been her area of interest.