Summer 2018 Has Been Highlighted as a New Record in the Decade
Bogor, August 21, 2018
A number of heatwaves are reported to occur in many places in northern hemisphere. The impacts of striking heatwave are ranging from health problems to infrastructure damage. Number of deaths increased sharply in Japan during the unprecedented two-weeks heatwave on July 2018. Vast majority of the deaths were elderly. Highest temperature was 41.1o C experienced in Kumagaya, a city near Tokyo on July 24th. Government of Japan declared this situation as national disaster. Extreme heat also has potentially caused about 2,000 striped mullet (Mugil cephalus) suddenly died in Malibu Lagoon and Malibu Creek, California - USA. California State Parks Official indicated that water temperature in the lagoon was ranging from 27-28o C during the last week of August, which is relatively higher than usual. KNMI (Royal Netherland Meteorological Institute) issued a code orange warning on July, indicating that the country is officially in the midst of an extreme heatwave. Heat records were broken at 15 out of the total 33 weather stations in the Netherlands. Last national heatwave in the Netherlands was in 2015 where there was six consecutive days of heatwave spanning from June 30th to July 5th 2015. High temperatures already caused many problems in the Netherlands including the closure of animal park Apenheul in Apedoorn, lockdown of all provincial bridges in Friesland, development of smog and blue-green algae, melting asphalt in some municipalities and thousands of fish died in Krabbeplas near Vlaardingen. July 2018 was also reported as the most pressured month for emergency department in UK health service. More reports of dehydration, heart failure and kidney problem were submitted. UK had cooled down in late August, but the Met Office indicated that there is high possibility of a scorching heat to dominate September and above average temperatures may last to the end of November. This could go as a record break in the UK.
Despite causing serious concerns in other sectors, farmers in Lincolnshire - UK is reaping benefits from the extended heatwave as it boosts sunflower crop production. Other positive feedback coming from archeologist. The heatwave has revealed details of England's ancient pasts. Two Neolithich monuments are discovered near Milton Keynes, long rectangles near Clifton Reynes that are thought to be paths of processional ways, numerous features in a ceremonial landscape near Eynsham and few other findings are reported as the heatwaves have caused lack of soil moisture in the area.
More frequent extreme weather - which is exacerbated by climate change, comes with both risk and opportunity. Improved climate science is necessary to understand current and future climate so the community is able to avoid negative risks and tap the benefits from changing climate.