Climate change has seldom been so scorching and dramatic. To the horrific extent that public notifications in the United States of America with the stark message ~ “heat kills” ~ have warned of extreme heat in California’s Death Valley, paradoxically so-called.
The western part of the nation is scorching in extreme heat. The summer phenomenon is direly extraordinary and establishes beyond doubt, if there was any, that the prognosis made by environmental scientists over the past couple of decades has come true. A thermometer outside Furnace Creek Visitors Center in the heart of Death Valley showed 134 degrees Fahrenheit shortly before 4 p.m. on Sunday, although a National Park Service ranger said it typically measured higher than the official reading.
The National Weather Service recorded Saturday’s temperature at 130 degrees (54.4 deg C) which if verified would be one of the highest ever recorded on Earth. A ranger measured the sidewalk temperature outside the visitors center at 178 degrees Fahrenheit on Sunday afternoon.
The National Weather Service issued excessive heat warnings across much of the region and cautioned residents that the high temperatures could be hazardous to their health, especially small children and the elderly.
The sweltering heat, which extended across much of the Pacific Northwest, pressured power grids and fueled major wildfires, including a blaze burning in Southern Oregon that threatened 1,200 homes and other structures.
This has been the critical fallout of the excessive heatwave in a country whose former President, Donald Trump, had withdrawn from the climate change conference in Paris not too long ago. It now devolves on Joe Biden to announce a positive initiative at the next climate-change negotiations meeting at the high table. The Bootleg Fire, which broke out last Tuesday, has blackened 144,000 acres, or 224 square miles in and around the Fremont-Winema National Forest as of Sunday afternoon with no containment.
Conditions at the blaze were so severe that the 926 firefighters were forced in some cases to “disengage and move to predetermined safety zones.”
The wildfires recall the forest fires in Brazil.
The flames were burning along a high voltage power corridor connecting Oregon’s power grid with California’s, worrying officials in both states that electricity could be knocked out to thousands of homes and businesses. Residents in hundreds of homes were already under mandatory evacuation orders and the Sheriff’s department in one county said it would make arrests if necessary to keep people out of those areas.
Residents in additional parts of southern Oregon were under “Go now” orders on Sunday while still more were told to “get set.” In Oregon, Governor Kate Brown declared a state of emergency on July 6.
The heat wave is one of the several threatening homes across the Western states. America is expected to experience triple-digit heat as what they call a “high-pressure zone” blankets the region.
As the America sizzles, the barometer has registered record-breaking temperatures. Man is as helpless as he is with the resurgence of coronavirus. In a sense, the world’s most powerful nation has been brought to its knees by the natural forces it had ignored on its march to the top.