IAS Gyan

Daily News Analysis


20th July, 2023

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The recent occurrence of extreme heat waves in various parts of the world and their connection to climate change


  • The passage discusses the recent occurrence of extreme heat waves in different parts of the world, including the Cayman Islands, North America, Europe, and Asia.
  • These record-breaking temperatures are a stark reminder of the impact of climate change, leading to extreme weather events becoming more frequent globally.

North America

  • Phoenix, Arizona, witnessed 19 consecutive days of temperatures above 43.3 degrees Celsius, breaking a 1974 record.
  • Southern California and Nevada also experienced a blazing heat wave, with excessive heat warnings affecting over 100 million people in the Western USA.
  • Canada faced its worst wildfire season, with nearly 25 million acres burned by 887 wildfires.


  • Europe experienced two consecutive heat waves, with temperatures breaking records in Italy, Greece, and France.
  • Italy's Sardinia and Rome recorded extreme temperatures, leading to red weather alerts in 20 cities.
  • Greece saw temperatures above 40 degrees Celsius, causing wildfires in various regions.
  • Spain's Canary Islands witnessed a wildfire that displaced residents and affected thousands of acres.


  • China faced a series of heat waves, with a record-breaking temperature of 52 degrees Celsius in Sanbao, Xinjiang.
  • West Asian countries like Iran and Saudi Arabia also experienced soaring temperatures, with Saudi Arabia surpassing 50 degrees Celsius.
  • India had milder temperatures due to monsoon rains, but faced record heat in February and April.

Global Warming and Climate Change

  • Extreme weather events are linked to global warming caused by excessive carbon emissions.
  • The Earth's atmosphere traps heat due to the greenhouse gas effect, leading to a 1.16-degree Celsius increase in temperature since the pre-industrial age.
  • Mass-scale floods, droughts, heatwaves, and heavy rainfalls are becoming more frequent due to climate change.

Consequences of Inaction

  • Scientists warn that breaching the 1.5-degree Celsius global warming limit could cause irreversible damage to the planet's ecosystem, impacting humans and other living beings.
  • Urgent actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions are necessary to mitigate the effects of climate change.

El Nino's Impact

  • The current crisis of extreme heat waves is also influenced by the El Nino weather pattern, causing abnormal warming in the equatorial Pacific Ocean.
  • El Nino increases the likelihood of temperature records being broken and triggers more extreme heat globally.


Q) Extreme heat waves and their increasing frequency have become a global concern, impacting various regions worldwide. Analyze the factors contributing to the occurrence of extreme heat waves, and their consequences on the environment, human health, and ecosystems. (150 words)