Taylor Swift’s concerts overlap with Brazil’s intense heatwave in Rio de Janeiro
The death of a Taylor Swift fan at her recent concert in Rio de Janeiro comes during a severe heat wave that hit parts of Brazil.
Brazil’s National Meteorological Institute was warning of a “high risk” over the weekend as a line of high pressure remains parked over the area that includes the city where Swift is scheduled to appear at the weekend. Temperatures in Rio de Janeiro rose to 93 degrees Fahrenheit on Saturday, according to Weather Underground.
The city on Friday reported a heat index, or “feels like” temperature, of 138 degrees Fahrenheit, which broke previous records, according to MetSul Meteorologia. The effects of the heat on Friday caused some fans attending Swift’s concert to faint and were forced to reschedule subsequent shows.
Brazil’s high temperatures, which have lasted for about a week, set a slew of monthly and all-time temperature records, according to weather historian Maximiliano Herrera.
The high-pressure ridges that led to the extreme temperatures were similar to those that swept across the United States this summer, when places like Phoenix recorded temperatures exceeding 110 F for more than three weeks at a time. Climate change increases the likelihood of heatwaves and can make them more severe.
The World Weather Network analyzed the heat wave that hit South America last September and found that climate change has greatly increased the odds of such a large extension of heat. The group found that temperatures would have been between 2.5 and 7.7 degrees Fahrenheit had humans not been warming the Earth by consuming fossil fuels and emitting carbon pollution.
The World Weather Attribution group studies extreme weather and publishes rapid findings on the role of climate change in major events using peer-reviewed methods.
The past 12 months have been the hottest in modern history, according to the nonprofit Climate Central. Scientists believe that the effects of El Niño, a natural weather pattern that releases ocean heat into the atmosphere, are beginning to take hold and contributing to rising temperatures.
In Brazil, El Niño typically causes drought in northern parts of the country and heavy rains in the south, the Associated Press reported. Drought in the Amazon region has caused waterways to dry up this season, and fires have burned in parts of the country’s tropical wetlands.
Many families in Brazil lack the technology to cool their homes. About 20% of households in the country owned air conditioners in 2018, according to a study published in the journal Nature Communications.
Swift rescheduled her show scheduled for Saturday in Rio de Janeiro and instead took the stage on Monday.
The incident left an impression on prominent voices in the climate community.
“Today would be a good day for Taylor to say a few words to her legion of fans about the dangers of life on a rapidly warming planet and why we need to stop burning fossil fuels,” climate author Jeff Goodell wrote. Change the book “The Heat Will Kill You First” on x.com.