Brazil recently experienced an unprecedented heatwave, marking a historic high temperature of 44.8C (112.6F) in Araçuaí, located in the southeastern state of Minas Gerais. This record-breaking temperature, occurring on Sunday, has been attributed to a combination of the El Niño phenomenon and the ongoing impacts of climate change.
While meteorologists predict a slight relief from the scorching temperatures in the coming week, only three state capitals are expected to witness temperatures nearing 40C, as reported by CNN Brasil, according to the National Institute of Meteorology (Inmet).
Araçuaí’s temperature of 44.8C surpasses the previous national record of 44.7C, recorded in 2005, prompting red alerts across the country a month before the onset of summer in the southern hemisphere. The soaring heat has led to an unprecedented surge in energy consumption as individuals attempt to combat the extreme conditions and keep cool.
Scientists emphasize the growing frequency and intensity of extreme weather events globally due to climate change. Heatwaves, in particular, are becoming more prolonged and severe, a trend expected to persist as long as human activities continue to release greenhouse gases, exacerbating the planet’s warming.
Moreover, the Earth is currently experiencing the El Niño weather phase, known for elevating global temperatures, adding to the intensity of this extreme weather occurrence in Brazil.