People across South Africa are grappling with a scorching heatwave sweeping across the country, as temperatures have soared over the past two weeks, caused mainly by rising levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
Local weather experts have issued a warning that the intense heat is likely to persist for more months, prompting authorities to advise people to avoid direct sun exposure between 11:00 and 15:00.
Residents in Johannesburg, the most populous city in South Africa, are struggling to cope with the extreme heat.
While the entire population is at risk, the elderly, children and outdoor workers are particularly vulnerable.
For years, scientists and activists have warned of the consequences of rising levels of greenhouse gases being released into the atmosphere. These warnings are again ringing loud at the 28th session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28), currently underway in Dubai. Global fossil fuel emissions are expected to reach a record high of roughly 37 billion metric tons of carbon dioxide this year, which is 1.1 percent more than in 2022.
This could result in a change in the Earth’s system that would be irreversible, emphasizing the urgent need for climate action.
The UN Environment Program’s latest Emission Gap Report, released this month, said that this year (until the beginning of October), 86 days were recorded with temperatures of more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, and September was the hottest recorded month, with global average temperatures 1.8°C above pre-industrial levels.
According to research devoted entirely to Africa, rising temperatures and sea levels, shifting precipitation patterns, and more extreme weather are endangering human health and safety, food and water security, and socioeconomic development.
FewsNet, in its latest report, said that, for November, the north-eastern and eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) faced moderate to large rainfall deficits, while Chad in central Africa was faced with floods.
The floods could also reach Congo (Brazzaville) and Gabon due to heavy rainfall.
Flooding in Mali’s Niger River Delta has not eased, while it has improved in northern and southern Ghana and southern Benin.

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