Heat Waves Essay

Recent discoveries by several meteorological departments around the globe have indicated an upsurge in global temperatures. This is a clear indication that despite the worldwide standstill due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the earth continues to face global warming. One significant consequence is heatwaves, which are gradually being recorded all over the world. Heatwaves are a period of unusual higher temperatures than the average lasting for more than a day. For instance, the earth’s coldest place (Antarctica) has reported a record-high increase in its surface temperatures. This increase is due to heat being trapped into the earth’s atmosphere by gas polluted by humans.

Minimum temperatures have gone above the zero marks for three consecutive days (Bergstrom, Klekociuk, & Robinson, 2020). The maximum recorded were all above 7.50C. In January, a new record of the highest maximum temperature was 9.20C, which was broken in February. A new Maximum temperature of 18.40C became the new high. Days later, a new high was recorded; 20.750C. Temperatures of these magnitudes are considered very high when compared to the supposed normal of -70C (Woodyatt, 2020) Adverse effects have therefore been reported around the continent. Some of these effects have been advantageous and disadvantageous to the eco-system.

Antarctica, although set aside from other continents, has global impacts that affect every life in every corner of the world (Bergstrom, Klekociuk, & Robinson, 2020). For example, it is the main driving force that distributes oceanic heat around the planet, affecting the marine eco-system. Most of the continent is covered by ice, meaning the arrival of warm air leads to the melting of the ice sheets. This conversion from ice to water leads to rising sea levels, which leads to flooding of the coastal regions. Floods on the coastal areas lead to the destruction of life and properties. The formation of glacial rivers and flooding lakes was also evident. Therefore, it is right to conclude that Antarctica is an indicator of the changes we should expect with the rising cases of heatwaves.

Heatwaves are known to cause ecological upsets to living organisms. Such upsets may lead to death. Reports have shown that Antarctica’s population of living organisms is gradually declining. Sighting of dead polar bears dried up mosses and lichens, and migrating penguins have been reported. Using Antarctica cases as a prediction of what the earth would face with a continued increase in the number of Heatwaves, it is evident that loss of organism life is imminent (Woodyatt, 2020). This may even lead to the extinction of an already depleted number of rare species of animals and plants.

The only positive effect of the upsurge in surface temperatures of Antarctica is that with an increase in warmth, the vegetation benefited. This though, cannot be said of other parts of the world that are already warm. Curbing global warming is, therefore, of great benefit to the earth’s inhabitants. The effects of global warming have shown to be increasing in severity and should be addressed if the earth’s eco-system survives.

In the unit 4 discussion post “Global-Warming” by Faieq Ahmed, considerable interest has been shown in addressing the effects of global warming. Its relevance to the topic under discussion has been noted. The post has tackled heat waves as an effect of global warming. Several impacts of heatwaves have been outlined in this post; health effects are a significant concern in cases of heatwaves. These are; fatigue, heat rash, dehydration, and general discomfort (Kirch, Menne, & Bertollini,2005). Such health effects may lead to unconsciousness due to shut down of major body organs. In extreme cases, death has been reported. Health-related costs of heatwaves increase, leading to the diversion of resources in tackling these conditions.

The discussion post has also covered the economic effects of Heat Waves. Outdoor jobs are greatly affected by the increase in temperatures. With an increase in cases of heatwaves, outdoor jobs are discouraged due to the danger they pose. This, in turn, slows economic growth due to the decrease in workforce productivity (Rutgers University, 2020). Wildfires have also been recorded, leading to the diversion of resources in trying to stop the fires. Heatwaves are behind a declining insect population (Hemming, 2013). This, in turn, affects the agricultural sector due to a lack of pollination. Without pollination, food production in some crops is impossible to take place. Reported drought cases also diminish food production leading to famine in some parts of the world.

It has been noted in the article that buying patterns tend to change with every heatwave incidence (Choi, Gao & Jiang, 2020). Companies that are involved in carbon emissions have reported a decrease in revenues with every occurrence of heatwaves. Stock values have also plunged to a record low during such times (Kahn, 2019). This has prompted such companies to spearhead initiatives that help in tackling global warming.

The above consequences indicate that with a continuous degradation of the earth’s atmosphere, all life forms will cease to exist soon. The effects of global warming are increasing in every manner with our constant disregard for the environment. Heatwaves, for instance, are growing in numbers and intensity. It is, therefore, mandatory that the human race gather enough resources to help in tackling this menace. Every human being should take it as a personal responsibility to help stop global warming.
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Bergstrom, M, Klekociuk, A, & Robinson, S. (31 March 2020). Antarctica: What it means when the coldest place on Earth records an unprecedented heatwave. The Guardian. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/31/antarctica-what-it-means-when-the-coldest-place-on-earth-records-an-unprecedented-heatwave
Choi, D., Gao, Z., & Jiang, W. (2020). Attention to global warming. The Review of
Financial Studies, 33(3), 1112-1145.
Hemming, D. (2013). Plant sciences reviews 2012. Wallingford: CABI,
Kahn, M. (2019). Long-term macroeconomic effects of climate change: A cross-country analysis. International Monetary Fund
Kirch, W.,Menne, B., & Bertollini, R. (2005). Extreme weather events and public health responses. New York, NY: Springer.
Rutgers University. (2020, March 12). Heat stress may affect more than 1.2 billion people annually by 2100: Rising global temperatures are increasing exposure to extreme heat and humidity. Science Daily. Retrieved from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/03/200312142256.htm
Woodyatt, A. (2020, March 31). Scientists have recorded the first ever heat wave in this part of Antarctica. CNN World. Retrieved from https://www.Edition.cnn.com/2020/03/31/world/antarcti\ca-heat-wave-intl-scli-scn/index.html