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Byron Shire
September 21, 2023

Queensland and Papua New Guinea among regions most at risk from record-breaking heatwaves

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I congratulate Paul Bibby on his article on conflicts of interest involved with the Byron Shire Council (BSC) using...

Sunrise. Photo Max Christian

Brought to you by Cosmos Magazine and The Echo

Every region in the world needs to be prepared for extreme heatwaves, according to a new paper in Nature Communications – but Afghanistan, Papua New Guinea, and Central America are particularly at risk.

Climate change is already causing an increase in mortality from heatwaves, and this is predicted to become worse as the climate warms more.

The UK team of researchers used a technique called extreme value statistics and global climate data to identify where in the world was statistically likely to have record-breaking heatwaves.

They found that 31% of the regions they assessed had recorded “statistically implausible extremes” between 1959 and 2021.

These extremes included things like the 2021 heatwave in western North America, where some temperature records were broken by almost 5°C.

The researchers identified eight regions that were most likely to experience a record-breaking heatwave.

The most vulnerable according to the research , were Central America (in this study, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, and Panama), Afghanistan, and Papua New Guinea.

These regions all have growing populations and limited healthcare and energy resources, hence their vulnerability.

The other five regions were far eastern Russia, Central Europe, northwestern Argentina, Beijing in China, and Queensland in Australia.

In their paper, the researchers say that policymakers in these regions should be planning for these potential heatwaves.

“Heatwaves are deadly – but better preparation can save lives,” they write.

“Planning ahead can reduce mortality from climatic extremes. For example, city heat plans that include actions such as establishing cooling centres or reducing hours of work for outdoor workers can reduce heat impacts.”

But they stress that, while these eight regions are statistically most at risk, anywhere in the world could experience an extraordinary heatwave.

“Everywhere needs to be prepared for a heatwave so extreme it is deemed implausible based on the current observational record,” they write.

This article was originally published on Cosmos Magazine and was written by Ellen Phiddian. Ellen Phiddian is a science journalist at Cosmos. She has a BSc (Honours) in chemistry and science communication, and an MSc in science communication, both from the Australian National University.

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    • Joachim ” stupid is knowing the truth , seeing the truth , but still believing the lies .. seriously
      Joachim with respect..why are banks all
      Financial institutions giving out 30 year
      Loans to future owners of beachfront
      Properties ? Believe what you may Joachim
      It’s the biggest hoax in history .. 15.000 years ago
      It was 2 degrees warmer.. the exaggeration
      With the above article is excatly what iam referring
      To..don’t agree with the article Joachim..however
      I respect the views above 💯 percent..

        • We still waiting for Barrow to come back to us with the official record showing that last years 14.4metre record flood of Lismore, is not the record flood as he claims.
          Barrow and facts, don’t fit in the same conversation.

        • Iam sure Nicola if you were to do your
          Own research you will be surprised
          About how many times in the last
          Billion years the earth has been warmer
          Than the present.. example 2000 years
          Ago in Europe it was 1.5 degrees warmer than the current day.. so fashionable to be a warmist ..yes the earth has warmed slighty
          So what ! The propaganda regarding
          We are doomed is so far fetched ..laughable.
          Woke up with a toothache this morning..
          Emergency !! It must be climate change..

          • Seriously Mr Barrow, if you can’t tell the difference between a toothache and climate change there is little hope you can ever understand the climate emergency.

          • So, you haven’t presented one jot of any scientific data in your claim.
            Its just more bollocks scribbles, like your last year’s Lismore Flood not-Record claim, from the Denier in Chief Barrow.

        • The scientists at the Heartland Institute, Institute of Public Affairs, The NIPCC Panel, etc, are happy to explain the mistakes and misinterpretations that warmists are encouraged to proper gate in media and academia.

          • Christian, you are in very fine Denier company with those fronts for Fossil Fuel Industry that you reeled off.
            We see them, we see you, try harder next time.

          • Heartland institute was founded in 1984 as a free-market economics think tank. They explained a lot of the concepts I’ve mentioned in their latest round table… Youtube: ‘Climate Change Roundtable: Embracing Petro-Masculinity’
            You know you want to Joachim 😉


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