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Heatwaves have become longer in most of the world since 1950s – study
(The Guardian, 3 Jul 2020) Frequency of heatwaves and cumulative intensity has risen through the decades, research finds
Heatwaves have increased in both length and frequency in nearly every part of the world since the 1950s, according to what is described as the first study to look at the issue at a regional level.
The study found the escalation in heatwaves varied around the planet, with the Amazon, north-eastern Brazil, west Asia (including parts of the subcontinent and central Asia) and the Mediterranean all experiencing more rapid change than, for example, southern Australia and north Asia. The only inhabited region where there was not a trend was in the central United States.
Published in the journal Nature Communications, the study found a clear increasing trend in the total number of heatwave days within and across regions, and that heatwaves were getting longer across the past 70 years.
The only measure related to heatwaves that had not increased on a global scale was average intensity, which is the average temperature across all heatwaves per season. The only places where that increased were southern Australia and parts of Africa and South America
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