The UK has just recorded its hottest September day on record, while Greece and Hong Kong are experiencing intense heavy floods and a storm is teetering on the edge of a hurricane above the Atlantic Ocean.
The northern hemisphere has experienced its hottest summer since records began after prolonged heatwaves, while southern Europe in particular saw disastrous wildfires and climbing mortality rates.
July was also the hottest month ever recorded and the average temperature in August was 1.5C higher than pre-industrial levels.
Such extreme weather conditions – being felt around the world all at once – obviously contribute to growing fears that the climate crisis is already upon us.
And now, a peer-reviewed research report published on Thursday has suggested almost everyone on Earth felt the effects of climate change over the last three months (June to August).
The group’s vice-president for science, Andrew Pershing, told Reuters news agency: “Virtually no one on Earth escaped the influence of global warming during the past three months.
“In every country we could analyse, including the southern hemisphere, where this is the coolest time of year, we saw temperatures that would be difficult – and in some cases nearly impossible – without human-caused climate change.”
US-based research group, Climate Central, found that 98% of the world’s population were exposed to higher temperatures, which have become twice as likely to occur because of CO2 emissions.
You can see a full map of which countries are experiencing certain weather conditions due to climate change here, on the Climate Shift Index.
Looking at the researchers’ Climate Shift Analysis, it seems the only two countries which did not experience significant changes over the summer were Luxembourg and Uruguay.
That works out to as many as 6.2 billion people experiencing at least one day of average temperatures which were at least five times more likely to have occurred because of the climate change.
“These numbers will grow over time until humans stop burning coal, oil, and natural gas,” the researchers added.
The researchers study whether changes in temperature come about due to climate change by comparing temperatures with models which remove the influence of greenhouse gas emissions.
But Friederike Otto, climate scientist at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment went even further and told Reuters events like the heatwaves seen around the world across the summer were “made infinitely more likely”.
She added: “They would nor have occurred without climate change.”
Climate Central also listed the following locations for enduring the most human-induced climate change over the summer:
- North Africa
- The Gulf of Guinea coastline
- Parts of central Africa, the Sahel, and the Horn of Africa
- The Arabian Peninsula
- The Mediterranean Basin
- Parts of India
- The Malay Archipelago
- The Amazon Basin
- The Andes
- Central America and the Caribbean
- The southern tier of the United States
- Western Canada
- Northern Greenland.
The group pointed out how more than half of the affected countries it studied are designated by the UN as “low-income countries confronting severe structural impediments to sustainable development” or small island developing states.
Together, they account for just 7% of global greenhouse gas emissions.
But, countries with the lowest emissions experienced approximately “three to four times more” summer days impacted by climate change compared to G20 countries, too.
Climate Central also issued another warning, noting: “Heat waves are the deadliest weather-related hazards, and their rising global frequency and intensity is consistent with well-established scientific understanding of the consequences of carbon pollution—mainly from burning coal, oil, and natural gas.”