Why, you might ask?
“As global temperatures rise, heat waves are becoming more common, severe, and long-lasting” – “with less overnight relief” and thus, “extreme heat waves are a defining part of summers across the globe now”. That’s not all. As Morgan McFall-Johnsen, Marianne Guenot and Maiya Focht reported for INSIDER, they are fuelled by “droughts and wildfires across the globe” due to the climate crisis: “Climate change made that heatwave 30% more likely, according to a study by World Weather Attribution” (source).
Already in 2022, INSIDER warned that “Heat waves are dominating summer, killing thousands, and fueling wildfires” and demanded that the “world needs to prepare for more”! (source)
Now, EURONEWS titled “Europeans seek shade as heatwave grips much of the continent” (source). During hot summers, thousands of people die from heat in Germany, estimated by the Robert Koch Institute. Thus, ZEIT reported that this is also since the country is not well-prepared for high temperatures (source).
Tuesday, July 4th, was “world’s hottest day on record” (The Guardian) or in other words it “was the hottest day on earth since record – never in the last 100’000 years have the temperatures been warmer” (Fridays For Future International). And this “record, however, is likely to be broken again later this year, as summer in the Northern hemisphere has not yet peaked.” (source)
This topic seems even more important on today’s “World Population Day” as the UN Environment Programme wrote last year that “However, with rapid population growth and urbanization, problems such as pollution and waste are exacerbating” (source). The United Nations noted: “2007 was the first year in which more people lived in urban areas than in rural areas, and by 2050 about 66 per cent of the world population will be living in cities” (source).
The “lack of heat protection” already costs Germany billions of euros every year, said Martin Herrmann, chairman of the German Alliance Climate Change and Health (Deutsche Allianz Klimawandel und Gesundheit). Sun and intense heat can be dangerous to humans. Not only in the long term due to skin damage, but also immediately with the risk of heatstroke. However, what is often underestimated is the strain on the body when it absorbs more heat than it can dissipate. The threshold at which this becomes dangerous is individual and depends on factors such as age, health, activity level and acclimatization.