Summer Heat Waves Create Global Chaos

July 2019 was on record as the warmest month ever across the globe. This summer’s record-breaking temperatures have confirmed the consequences of man-made greenhouse gas emissions across the planet. Several continents, including North America, Europe and Australia, have set all-time highs this summer, with record temperatures ranging from 104-108.6 degrees Fahrenheit. These extreme heat waves are expected to increase in frequency, accelerating changes that have significant impacts on the planet.
The ongoing effects of climate change have caused catastrophic incidents across the world this year – most notably, the inferno occurring in the Amazon rainforest. The Amazon, often referred to as the "lungs of the planet”, covers more than two million square miles and produces roughly 20% of earth's oxygen. The Amazon has suffered an 80% increase in deforestation compared to last year, intensifying the amount of carbon dioxide emissions released into the atmosphere. Environmentalists now fear that the world’s largest rainforest could potentially harm the planet instead of protecting it.
Scientists, environmental groups, concerned businesses and the public have brought the need for solutions to the forefront, urging world leaders and politicians to take immediate action and plan the next vital steps to combat the causes of climate change. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, if we were to take no action to counteract carbon dioxide emissions, global average temperatures will rise by a catastrophic 8 degrees Fahrenheit above pre-industrial levels over the next 80 years.
This summer, the strongest warming trends are seen in the Arctic region, which is causing the continuous loss of sea ice. Rising temperatures have also been linked to longer fire seasons in the region. The Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service tracked over 100 prolonged wildfires in the Arctic Circle in June and found they released 1,000,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, which is more than the fires between 2010 and 2018 combined.
A study by the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States found that boreal forests are burning at more intensifying rates now than any time in the last 10,000 years. Yakutsk, Russia - typically one of the coldest places on earth - has witnessed unforeseen polarizing effects. Thousands of kilometers of burning forests have swept through the country, causing thick and toxic air that makes it intolerable to breathe. The dense smoke has also caused swarms of bugs to emerge, severely affecting those fleeing the fire.
Events like these demonstrate exactly why Kingspan is committed to sustainability in both our business practices and our products and is one reason why we pledged to become a Net Zero Energy company by 2020. We have a unique platform to contribute to a safer environment by reducing the amount of global greenhouse gas emissions that are released from the built environment. We encourage everyone from corporate businesses to the everyday citizen to do their part and to take action now.