The United Nations has issued its first ever guidelines on how to survive a heatwave, as 2015 looks on track to surpass 2014 as the hottest year on record globally.
The news comes as new data confirms climate change is driving an increase in the number and intensity of heatwaves across Europe.
Earlier this year, our Off the Charts report found that 2014 was the hottest year on record globally, with the global average temperature 0.69°C above the 20th century average.
Our Quantifying Extreme Heat report also revealed that Australia’s record hot year in 2013 could not have occurred without climate change. The report found that climate change has significantly worsened recent extreme heat events in Australia, with heatwaves becoming hotter, longer and more frequent.
Across the world, record-breaking weather and extreme heat events increase heat stress on people, animals and plants, and well as pressure on infrastructure and agriculture.
The United Nations guidelines seek to help decision-makers and health services develop early warning systems, similar to those in place for bushfires, to help reduce the effects of hot weather extremes on health.
You can read our full Off the Charts report here.
You can read our full Quantifying Extreme Heat report here.
IMAGE CREDIT: Flickr user Kim ‘Bushfire Sky Tasmania’ licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0