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With climate change driving more heatwaves, associated weather and climate-related factors will increase the incidence of extreme wildfires

Heatwaves have been going through some extraordinary changes in recent history. Since midway through the 20th century, their intensity, frequency and duration have increased across the globe — and these changes are happening faster and faster. Research indicates that this is simply not possible without human influence on the climate.

A child born today could see an extra 30 to 50 heatwave days every year by the time they are 80, up from roughly 4 to 10 days today. Southern states of Australia, such as Victoria and South Australia, which already experience the country’s hottest heatwaves, could see hot days become hotter by up to 4°C.

Across Europe, heatwaves may become hotter by up to 10°C and some heatwaves will last up to two months by the end of this century. In just the next 20 years, the US will experience three to five more heatwaves every decade compared to the second half of the 20th century.

And of course, during times of heatwaves and droughts, wildfires will ignite more readily, burn more intensely and spread faster. n lock-step with heatwaves, wildfires are a worsening global problem and extreme wildfires, in particular, are affecting fire-prone regions such as western North America, Eastern Russia, and Mediterranean Europe.

Source: Business Line