According to scientists, the Hajj’s lethal heat increased by 2.5°C due to climate change.

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According to scientists, the Hajj’s lethal heat increased by 2.5°C due to climate change.

Previous research indicates that heatwaves are 1.2°C hotter globally on average than they were in preindustrial times.

LONDON: In their analysis of the situation in Saudi Arabia, where a heatwave has killed 1,300 Hajj pilgrims, a group of European scientists stated on Friday that the situation was made worse by climate change.
Between June 16 and June 18, when the Hajj was taking place, the temperature reached as high as 47°C (117°F) and as high as 51.8°C at the Masjid al-Haram.
According to ClimaMeter’s estimate, the temperature would have been approximately 2.5°C (4.5°F) lower if there had been no influence from human-caused climate change.
Hajj
Medical team members evacuate a Muslim pilgrim, affected by the scorching heat, at the base of Mount Arafat, also known as Jabal al-Rahma or Mount of Mercy, during the annual Hajj pilgrimage on June 15, 2024.

Quick analyses of the impact of climate change on specific weather events are carried out using ClimaMeter.

The meteorological patterns from 1979 to 2001 and 2001 to 2023 were compared by the scientists using satellite observations from the previous 40 years.

Despite the fact that the desert region has long recorded deadly temperatures, they claimed that climate change was to blame for the heatwave this month’s intensity and that natural variability could not account for its extent.

The evaluation also discovered that, although June currently sees more intense heatwaves than July, comparable past occurrences in Saudi Arabia took place in May and July.

“The most vulnerable pilgrims have been affected by the deadly heat during this year’s Hajj, which is directly linked to fossil fuel burning,” stated Davide Faranda, a scientist at France’s National Centre for Scientific Research who worked on the ClimaMeter investigation.

 

Heatwaves are now hotter, more frequent, and linger longer due to climate change. Previous research by experts affiliated with the World Weather Attribution group indicates that heatwaves are, on average, 1.2°C (2.2°F) hotter worldwide than they were in preindustrial periods.

Medical authorities typically blame heart diseases or heat-related coronaries that are made worse by high temperatures rather than heat for fatalities. Nevertheless, scientists concluded that a large number of the 1,300 Hajj fatalities were probably caused by intense heat.

One of the world’s top oil producers, Saudi Arabia frequently takes actions to obstruct and postpone taking action on climate change. They must understand that their acts have repercussions, according to Mohamed Adow, director of the charity Power Shift Africa.

Saudi Aramco, the state-owned oil company, is the greatest corporate greenhouse gas emitter in the world. Saudi Arabia is the second-largest oil producer in the world, behind the United States.

Based on a database of emissions from carbon majors, it accounts for over 4% of the global historical carbon emissions.

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