Light Wave


Editorial Cartoon Of The Day: Hotter Than Hell

By CM Chaney · June 26, 2024

Recent global heat waves have provided stark evidence of the intensifying impacts of human-caused climate change, according to a report from The Washington Post. In the past week alone, over 1,000 temperature records were broken worldwide, affecting billions of people across five continents. Notable incidents include dozens of heat-related deaths in Delhi, tourist fatalities in Greece, and hundreds of pilgrims perishing in temperatures as high as 125°F (52°C) while en route to Islam’s holiest site.

Scientists emphasize that greenhouse gas pollution has pushed the planet into alarming new territory. Despite expectations of cooler temperatures following the dissipation of El Niño, June 2024 is set to break the 13th consecutive monthly global average temperature record. The planet is approaching or may surpass the highest global averages ever measured.

Climate Central’s analysis reveals that for about 80% of the world’s population, the past week’s heat was twice as likely to occur due to human-induced climate change. Nearly half experienced what they term “exceptional heat” - conditions that would have been rare or impossible without climate change.

The effects of this unprecedented warmth are far-reaching. Power grids in Albania and Kuwait struggled under surging air-conditioning demand. In the United States, tens of millions endured one of the worst early-season heat waves in memory.

Scientists attribute this intensification to the approximately 1.2°C (2.2°F) of warming since the industrial era began, primarily due to fossil fuel combustion. This baseline increase not only makes extreme events more likely but also more intense. Heat waves are now 2-3°C (3-5°F) hotter, hurricanes are at least 14% wetter, and storm surges occur in higher seas.

While the recent El Niño pattern contributed to the heat, its effects were amplified by the warmer background conditions caused by continued greenhouse gas emissions. As summer 2024 progresses, there are concerns that even more scorching conditions may lie ahead, potentially surpassing the record-breaking temperatures of 2023.

(This content was created with the help of AI, and edited by a human.)


About Michael Ramirez - In addition to the 1994 and 2008 Pulitzer Prizes, Ramirez was the 2008 winner of the prestigious Fischetti Award. He is a three-time Sigma Delta Chi, Society of Professional Journalism Award winner, a Lincoln Fellow and a recipient of the UCI Medal. He is a senior editor and the editorial cartoonist for Investor’s Business Daily. He is formerly the editorial cartoonist for the Los Angeles Times, The Memphis Commercial Appeal and a contributing cartoonist for USA Today. His work is syndicated by Creators Syndicate.