Redheads admitted to theatre for free
What in the world is with letting red-haired customers go to the movie theaters for free? It happened in England.
On July 18, the Daily Telegraph in the UK reported the highest midday temperature ever in London and Cambridge, exceeding 37°C―the most serious heat wave on record. In some parts of the UK, temperatures rose by more than 40 degrees Celsius, the highest in the 363 years records have been kept. It is said that less than 5% of households in the UK have air conditioning installed because the climate is usually cool enough even in midsummer.
(Relieving thirsty British Buckingham Palace Guard in a fur hat during heat wave. Source: Yeonhap News)
In the unprecedented heat, there were fires breaking out due to the overload on electric circuits, railroad operations were delayed or canceled, and about 200 schools have been temporarily closed.
To combat this, a cinema has been offering free tickets to movies for two days from the 18th through the 19th for any customers with red hair, since redheads are more vulnerable to UV rays.
(Go to related article)
But the current heat wave is too serious to just laugh off.
The world is in a state of emergency
due to the global heat wave
(Ice landslide on Mount Marmolada. Photo source: NEWSIS)
In early July, a sudden ice landslide killed 11 hikers at at the top of the Dolomite Alps in northern Italy. Experts explained that the average temperature at the summit recently reached 10 degrees Celsius, resulting in the melted ice and the landslide.
In May, India and Pakistan suffered from heat waves exceeding 50 degrees Celsius. In northern Pakistan, mountain glaciers melted in high temperatures, flooded rivers, and bridges collapsed.
On May 18th, CNN reported a study by the UK Meteorological Agency finding that India and Pakistan were 100 times more likely to experience record heat waves.
In June, the worst flood damage occurred in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. The U.S. Geological Survey said it was an extreme flood that could only happen once in 500 years.
President Biden declared a state of emergency as the situation worsened, with large-scale blackouts in the central and southern regions of the United States due to the surge in electricity demand due to sweltering weather, and heat wave warnings were issued in 28 states.
Europe has not experienced temperature exceeding 40°C. However, over 1,500 people have died of heat stroke in the past couple of weeks, and Portugal, Spain, France and Greece are all in a state of emergency due to the heat and wildfires.
(Freshwater crayfish are cooked high temperature in a rice paddy in Japan. Source: Twitter)
The heat is spreading continent-wide.
In Tunisia, Africa, heat waves and wildfires damaged grain crops, and Iran recorded a temperature of 52℃ at the end of June. In China, asphalt roads are melting in the heat of 44℃, and in Japan, freshwater crayfish were found cooked as the water temperature in rice paddies rose.
The global village is in a state of broil.
(Temperature by region on July 13, 2022. Source: NASA)
Global warming getting worse
Why are heat waves so prevalent this year? The World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has pointed out that the cause of this record-breaking heat wave is related to global warming, which has been observed to increase in frequency, duration and intensity in recent decades.
In addition, in the report "Global Climate in 2021," the last seven years were the hottest seven years on record, and sea level due to polar melting rose to the highest level in 2021. And the report predicts the earth will get yet warmer.
The international community copes with climate change
From July 17th to 19th, delegates from 40 countries gathered in Berlin, Germany, and held an annual climate-related meeting (Petersberg Climate Dialogue 2022).
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres sent a video message warning that "half of humanity is in the danger zone from climate crisis” yet "we continue to feed on our fossil fuel addiction.” He also urged cooperation as a multilateral community rather than playing the blame game, emphatically intoning that “we have a choice. Collective action or collective suicide. It is in our hands.”
German Chancellor Olaf Scholz also spoke at the meeting. Germany has been at the forefront of carbon neutrality in Europe and is suffering from a cutback in the supply of Russian natural gas (normally comprising 55% of its gas supply) since the outbreak of the Russo-Ukrainian War. To overcome the energy crisis, Germany will temporarily restart its coal-fired power plants, so attention has been focused on the German Prime Minister's words. Chancellor Scholz said Germany's resumption of coal power generation is a "temporary emergency" and will maintain its goal of achieving zero carbon by 2045.
In addition, the G7 agreed to provide USD 100 billion annually to help developing countries respond to climate change in the near future, and Germany is expected to donate at least 6 billion euros annually until 2025.
Greenhouse gases emitted by 5 coutries
amount to damage worth USD 6 trillion!
(Go to the report)
The results of a study assessing the economic damage caused by greenhouse gases emitted by each country to other countries were recently published for the first time.
On July 12, a Dartmouth College research team in the U.S. published a paper titled "National Attribution of Historical Climate Damages" in the journal Climate Change.
The study calculated how much greenhouse gas each of the 143 countries for which data was available and how much the greenhouse gases emitted contributed to global warming, and then estimated how global warming again affected individual countries. To do this, 2 million values were sampled and a supercomputer calculated 11 trillion values.
According to the thesis, between 1990 and 2014, the world's two largest emitters of greenhouse gases, the United States and China, caused global losses of more than USD 1.8 trillion each, and the top five greenhouse gas emitters, the United States, China, Russia and if you add up the damage done to other countries by India and Brazil, it is said that the total amount comes out to USD 6 trillion dollars.
This is a huge amount, as it is equivalent to about 11% of the world's annual GDP during the study period.
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The paper found greenhouse gas emissions have different economic consequences between rich and poor countries.
The top 10 greenhouse gas emitters account for more than two-thirds of global economic losses due to global warming, high-income countries located in the mid-latitudes and northern hemisphere are cooler than the global average temperature, so they are less affected by extremes, and the more they can farm, the longer they can grow, whereas the poorer countries in the tropics and the southern hemisphere are more likely to suffer economic losses from global warming.
In fact, there are reports that Russia is expected to produce 6% higher than normal this year as the weather continues to be suitable for growing wheat. The BBC was concerned about Russia's food weaponization, saying "Russia could be the only big winner."
Again, the answer is
multilateralism and cooperation
Professor Justin Mankin, co-author of the paper, explained that “hot regions have lost income due to global warming and cold regions have warmed but have gained economic benefits. Wealthy countries have become more prosperous through the sacrifices of the poor.”
(New Delhi, India: homeless people take shelter from the heat under a bridge in May 2022. Source: AP)
“Many of the world’s poorest and weakest countries are experiencing severe climate impacts,” said Jennifer Morgan, Germany’s climate special envoy at the Berlin Climate Conference. “We also need to show more solidarity,” he said.
The natural disasters and economic damage caused by continued climate change will be painful for all countries. However, the suffering endured by the people of low-income countries with weak social systems is obvious.
“Do all countries look to the United States for restitution? Maybe...”
-co-author Justin Mankin-
Christopher Callahan, first author of the Dartmouth research paper mentioned above, said, "This study provides a scientific basis for the claim of climate responsibility."
Based on the research results, what would happen if countries affected by global warming were to hold the top countries in greenhouse gas emission liable for damages? Can we pretend that we didn't know?
Before this happens, multilateralism and global cooperation, which the UN Secretary-General emphasizes, seem more important than ever.