Healthy EARTH Is No More1)
Over the course of two days from July 14 to 15, heavy rain of 100mm to 150mm poured down on Western Europe, including Germany and Belgium, for 24 hours. This was equivalent to two months' average rainfall in the region. On July 18, AFP reported that the death toll in Western Europe is estimated to be at least 183 and that the cost of recovering from flooded villages and damage to roads and bridges will exceed 6 trillion won. Meanwhile, the United States and Canada have been experiencing heatwaves and forest fires for a month. In July, the temperature in California in the U.S. hit a record high of 54.5 degrees Celsius, and the western part of the country – an area 5.1 times that of Seoul - burned due to large forest fires caused by high temperatures of the ground and dry air. Also, more than 700 people have died in Canada due to the heatwave. Meteorologists have attributed these phenomena across North America to heat domes caused by atmospheric congestion. Korea has also suffered. Traditionally, the rain front of Korea walks up and down continuously from the north to the south of the peninsula. But this summer, 264 days' rain fell during early July, already constituting 77 percent of the annual rainfall. Since then, the heatwave has continued, and the temperature has risen to 40 degrees Celsius. This is because of the stagnant high pressure on the Kamchatka Peninsula, which is located in the northeast of the Korean Peninsula.
This phenomenon is expected to continue in the future. According to a recent climate analysis study, the World Meteorological Organization predicted that the global temperature will be 1.5 degrees higher than before industrialization within the next five years. If the global average temperature rises by 4 degrees Celsius, 14% of mankind will be exposed to extreme heat waves at least once every five years. The damage will be more dangerous especially in central China and Central Asia. And it will cause a negative impact on the mortality rate, heavy rainfall, and the cardiovascular disease patients. To prepare for this, 195 countries that pledged to the Paris Climate Agreement, which has been in place since 2021, are trying to reduce global temperatures. In April, President Biden of the U.S. said at the 2021 Leaders' Climate Summit that the U.S. would reduce their carbon emissions by 52% compared to 2005. South Korea has also submitted a voluntary reduction goal to reduce its emissions by 37% compared to BAU (Business As Usual) by 2030. These efforts are expected to help keep the average temperature rise on Earth below 2 degrees Celsius.
1) Lee Minjung, "Western Europe's Heavy Rain, North America's Heat Wave···the Advanced Countries Have Begun to Get Revenge on Climate", Korea JoongAng Daily, July 19, 2021