Global countries are now experiencing twice as many “extremely hot days”, with temperatures reaching 50°C since the 1980s, according to a new BBC analysis.
It found temperatures passed the 50°C mark around 14 days a year on average between 1980 and 2009, predominantly seen in the Middle East and Gulf regions.
In addition, temperatures of 45°C and above were experienced an extra two weeks a year on average during the same period.
The analysis also found maximum temperatures increased by 0.5°C in the most recent decade compared with the long term average from 1980 to 2009, however, they were not felt equally around the world.
It suggests Eastern Europe, southern Africa and Brazil saw maximum temperatures rise by more than 1°C and parts of the Arctic and Middle East recorded increases of more than 2°C.
Dr Sihan Li, a climate researcher at the School of Geography and the Environment at the University of Oxford, who helped develop the methodology for the analysis, has been quoted as saying: “We need to act quickly. The faster we cut our emissions, the better off we’ll all be.
“With continued emissions and lack of action, not only will these extreme heat events become more severe and more frequent but emergency response and recovery will become more challenging.”
The latest analysis follows a new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which revealed many impacts of climate change are now “irreversible” and that reaching net zero carbon emissions is essential to keeping global warming to a specific level.