A BBC Mundo review notes that the heat wave has already caused more than 400 deaths in Canada and 80 in the United States amid extreme temperatures, particularly in Canada, where temperatures never exceeded 45 degrees Celsius.
British Columbia recorded 486 sudden deaths in the past five days, three times the usual number, amid the heat wave that hit the region, according to the publication.
The authorities in the far north of the country expect an increase in the number of victims of up to 195% compared to other years.
Since last week, police in the port city of Vancouver have recorded more than 130 sudden deaths. Most of the victims were elderly or had health problems, and heat was a determining factor, spokesmen said.
While in the south, the United States increased deaths as a result of the unprecedented heat wave that hit the northwest, with the National Weather Service (NWS, for its English acronym) forecasting temperatures close to 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius). ).
According to the NWS, this represents the highest heat levels since records began in the 1940s.
The cause of this wave corresponds to a “thermal dome” of hot, still air at high pressure (which acts as a bowl cover) that extends from California to the Arctic regions where the authorities had little precedent four decades ago. from the record.
This phenomenon is more pronounced in the western regions, where there is a prolonged drought and the resulting heat is trapped inside the dome that covers the area.
Scientists consider the effects of climate change, caused by emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases of human origin, as one of the causes of this phenomenon.
Climate change is making episodes of extreme heat more frequent, longer and more intense, said Erica Fleischman, director of the Climate Change Research Institute at Oregon State University.