Dr Luke Harrington, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Oxford, in his article on The Conversation says the effects of extreme heat are under-reported in Africa – putting millions of people at risk.
Extreme heat has become more frequent, severe, and lasted longer, in nearly all regions of the world over the past 70 years.
In Africa, temperature increases are projected to be higher than the global mean; particularly strong increases in extreme heat are foreseen over Eastern and Southern Africa.
Harrington reports that there is almost no record of reported heatwave events over sub-Saharan Africa in disaster databases, including the largest of these databases, EM-DAT.
EM-DAT, he says, lists only two heatwaves in sub-Saharan Africa since 1900.
“These have led to 71 recorded premature deaths. By contrast, 83 heatwaves were recorded in Europe over the last 40 years alone,” he writes.