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Last week, at the news briefing at the UN headquarters in New York, UN Secretary-General António Guterres, who often makes apocalyptic pronouncements about climate change, said, “The era of global boiling has arrived.”
His warning, as scientists confirmed that this summer is to become the Earth’s hottest on record, is impossible to ignore.
In Iran, the heat has exceeded 51 degrees Celsius in the southern city of Ahvaz. Many cities in southern Iran have already suffered from days of exceptional heat. Due to the “unprecedented heat,” Iran announced August 2 and August 3 as public holidays. The elderly and those with health conditions have been warned to keep indoors to stay safe from the high temperatures.
The health ministry said hospitals are on high alert.
Heat waves have been spreading all over the region in recent weeks. The UAE’s National Center of Meteorology recorded the highest temperature in the country on July 8, with 49.3 degrees Celsius in the Hamim area of the Al Dhafra region in Abu Dhabi. Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health has also warned about extreme heat and the safety measures residents should take during the past week, with temperatures ranging from 46 to 50 degrees Celsius.
Recent heat waves have also scorched North America and Europe. They triggered wildfires on both sides of the Mediterranean and blazes that incinerated millions of hectares of land in Canada.
A study published last week by a coalition of scientists found that the extreme heat waves of recent months would be “virtually impossible” without the effects of man-made climate change.