A recent study has revealed that the record-breaking heatwave in Madagascar during October would have been extremely unlikely without the effects of global warming caused by human activities.
The high temperatures had a significant impact on millions of impoverished individuals, but their struggles were not documented by authorities or the press. Numerous African governments do not have the means to track the effects of climate change. The researchers responsible for the study stated that this lack of data makes it challenging to implement measures to prevent fatalities.
A recent study conducted in sub-Saharan Africa has linked the prolonged heatwave to the ongoing climate crisis. Researchers discovered that temperatures were 2.5C higher than the recent average and Antananarivo, the capital of Madagascar, experienced some of the most extreme heat. According to calculations, if fossil fuels continue to be burned, global temperatures could rise up to 2C above pre-industrial levels, resulting in heatwaves of this intensity occurring every five years.
Many studies on climate change have demonstrated that human activities are causing an increase in extreme weather events globally. Heatwaves in particular have been responsible for countless unreported deaths in the past thirty years.
Assistance provided by prosperous nations to assist developing nations in dealing with the effects of climate change will be a significant focus at the upcoming UN Cop28 climate conference, commencing on November 30th.
Oceanographer Dr. Rondrotiana Barimalala, originally from Madagascar and currently working at the Norwegian Research Centre in Bergen, states that climate change is already affecting Madagascar and making life more difficult for millions of individuals. It is imperative for communities and governments to take action in order to increase resilience.
The majority of the nation’s population, over 90%, resides in poverty. Approximately half lack access to clean water and electricity, while numerous individuals live in informal housing, creating challenges in coping with extreme temperatures.
According to climatologist Dr. Izidine Pinto from the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute, heat impacts in Africa are often not fully reported due to limited resources in impoverished countries.
According to Sayanti Sengupta from the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, the lack of reports does not indicate the absence of impact. She stated that the high night-time temperatures during the heatwave have caused breathing difficulties for children, based on personal accounts.
In August, experts in climate science informed the Guardian that the extreme weather experienced in 2023 has surpassed previous global temperature records, and this is only a glimpse of the severe consequences yet to come.
A recent investigation was carried out by the World Weather Attribution team. Utilizing weather statistics and climate simulations, the scientists examined the severity and occurrence of heatwaves in Madagascar in relation to pre-global warming conditions.
Dr. Friederike Otto, a climate science professor at Imperial College London, stated that wealthier nations and corporations are responsible for exacerbating the issue of climate change, while the most impoverished populations are bearing the brunt of its effects. She emphasized the need for developed countries to pledge financial support to the loss and damage fund at Cop28.