6.5 billion people on Earth during July 2023 exposed to climate change heat

How to prepare for hotter summers

More than 6.5 billion people, or 81% of Earth’s population, were exposed during July 2023 to at least one day of heat made at least 3 times more likely by climate change, according to a new report and analysis by Climate Central.

During each day of that month, two billion people worldwide experienced a dangerous level of climate change influence on their local temperatures.

“It is not speaking figuratively to say the world is on fire,” said Lisa McCormick, an environmentalist who has called for the nationalization of fossil fuel companies and more assertive action to transform to a clean energy economy.

McCormick said there are currently 71 large wildfires in 13 states that have burned 485,750 acres.

“Four new large wildfires were reported yesterday in Florida, New Jersey, Oklahoma and Oregon,” said McCormick. “Nearly 16,300 wildland firefighters and support personnel are working to suppress large wildfires, on top of the 40,000 such conflagrations this year that have burned more than two million acres.”

McCormick said that July was the hottest month in history

“July 2023 was the first time an average July temperature exceeded 1.8 degrees F or 1.0 degree C above the long-term average, according to to scientists from NOAA’s National Centers for Environmental Information,” said McCormick. “The global ocean surface temperature hit a record high for the fourth-consecutive month and numerous locations along the East and West coasts experienced record high tide flooding last year — all because of human influence on the atmosphere.”

“High tide flooding is increasingly becoming common due to continued sea level rise, driven by climate change,” said McCormick. “Oceans absorb most of the radiation from the Sun, particularly in tropical waters around the equator, where the sea acts like a massive, heat-retaining solar panel.”

The U.S. has sustained 363 weather and climate disasters since 1980 where the cost of damages reached or exceeded $1 billion.

McCormick said that these billion dollar disasters are becoming more common because they represent the harm caused by human influence on the environment.

“People must demand better outcomes and that is why Americans must rise up to the responsibility of citizenship,” said McCormick. “The 6.5 billion people who were exposed to excessive heat during July should not need statistics to tell them that action is urgently required but it is certainly clear that inaction is killing us, right now.”

There were 1,714 heat-related fatalities in 2022, and McCormick warns that more are coming if the world’s political leaders continue to ignore the opportunity to pursue the recommendations of scientists.

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