About 559 million children are currently exposed to high heatwave frequency according to new research from UNICEF.
In addition, 624 million children are exposed to one of three other high heat measures high heatwave duration, high heatwave severity or extreme high temperatures.
By 2050, virtually every child on earth or over 2 billion children are expected to be exposed to high heatwave frequency.
This is regardless of whether the world achieves a low greenhouse gas emission with an estimated 1.7 degrees of warming or a very high greenhouse gas emission with an estimated 2.4 degrees of warming by 2050.
As of now, 1 in 3 children live in countries that face extreme high temperatures and almost 1 in 4 children are exposed to high heatwave frequency.
The report dubbed The Coldest Year Of The Rest Of Their Lives: Protecting Children From The Escalating Impacts Of Heatwaves highlights the already extensive impact of heatwaves on children.
Heat wave have adverse effect and increases chance of health problems in children including chronic respiratory conditions, asthma, and cardiovascular diseases.
Additionally, babies and young children are at the greatest risk of heat-related mortality.
Indeed heatwaves can also affect children’s environments, their safety, nutrition and access to water, and their education and future livelihood.
Toward this end, urgent and dramatic emissions mitigation and adaptation measures to contain global heating is need in order to protect lives.
According to the report children in northern regions, especially Europe, will face the most dramatic increases in high severity heatwaves by 2050, while nearly half of all children in Africa and Asia will face sustained exposure to extreme high temperatures.
Currently 23 countries fall into the highest category for child exposure to extreme high temperatures and is expected to rise to 33 under the low emissions scenario and 36 countries under the very high emissions scenario by 2050.
Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Niger, Sudan, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, India and Pakistan are among the countries likely to remain in the highest category in both scenarios.