Heat Waves in Mexico: Extreme Temperature

Heat waves in Mexico have left dozens of people dead since May 2024, according to research published by World Weather Attribution.

At least 125 people have died in various regions of Mexico since the end of May due to intense heat waves in the country.

The study has been released by the academic collaboration group World Weather Attribution (WWA).

According to the WWA, heat strokes in areas of the United States, which were 35 times more likely and 2.5 degrees Fahrenheit higher due to the burning of coal, oil and natural gas.

The World Weather Attribution is an organization of scientists that conducts rapid, non-peer-reviewed studies on climate attribution.

“It’s an oven, you can’t be here,” said Margarita Salazar Perez, 82, a resident of Veracruz, Mexico, in her home without air conditioning.

Heat Waves in Mexico: Extreme Temperature

Last week, the Sonoran Desert reached 125ºF, the hottest day in Mexico’s history, according to study co-author Shel Winkley, a meteorologist with Climate Central.

Heat waves in Mexico generate extreme sweltering, leading to conditions in people like hypertensives.

And it was even worse at night, which is what made this heat wave so deadly, said Imperial College of London climate scientist Friederike Otto, who coordinates the attribution team.

Climate change made nighttime temperatures 2.9ºF higher and increased the likelihood of unusual evening heat by 200 times, she said.

Karina Izquierdo, urban advisor for the Red Cross Red Crescent climate center in Mexico City and co-author of the report, said the level of intensity and risks associated with the phenomenon are clearly related to climate change.

The alarming part of the heat waves in Mexico is that it is technically still scorching North America, it’s just that it’s no longer out of the ordinary, Otto said.

Previous studies by the group have looked at temperatures so extreme that they deemed them impossible without climate change, but that’s not the case with this heat wave.

While other groups of international scientists – and the global carbon dioxide emissions reduction targets approved by countries in the 2015 Paris climate agreement – refer to warming since the pre-industrial era, in the 19th century, Otto said comparing what’s happening now to the year 2000 is more shocking.

“We’re seeing a shifting frame of reference, what was once extreme but unusual is becoming more common,” said Carly Kenkel, chair of Marine Studies at the University of Southern California, who was not involved in the attribution team’s study.

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