Photo Credit: Courtesy, Sheba Hospital
Sheba Hospital in Tel Aviv.

The extreme heat wave, or “sharav” that began on Saturday in Israel has brought with it warnings to Israelis not to forget to keep drinking water.

Those with medical conditions, the elderly, young, and pregnant are urged to remain indoors with fans or air conditioning as much as possible.

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Temperatures spiked on Sunday, reaching into the 40s celsius (100s fahrenheit) in desert and beach areas such as Eilat, where it reached as high as 45 / 113 degrees.

At least 440 people so far have been treated between Saturday and Monday mornings for heat exhaustion, dehydration, fainting and other results of the heat wave. The Magen David Adom emergency medical response service said it has been called to treat hundreds of people. More than 30 were dehydrated, and nearly 200 had fainted.

Three suffered from heat stroke. Among those were an eight-year-old girl who was hiking near Nachal Tavor in the Lower Galilee, and a 40-year-old man, found semi-conscious on Sunday on the roof of a building in Lod. Both were hospitalized in serious condition.

The extreme heat is expected to continue at least into Tuesday.

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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for Babble.com, Chabad.org and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Another wake-up call to the urgency of working to avert a climate catastrophe. Time for the Jewish community to be actively involved.

    Here are ten reasons Jews (and everyone else) should be concerned about climate change:
    1. Leaders of the 195 nations that met at the climate change conference in Paris in December 2015, science academies worldwide, 97% of climate scientists, and 99.9% of peer-reviewed papers on the issue in respected scientific journals agree that climate change is real, is largely caused by human activities, and poses great threats to humanity.
    2. Every decade since the 1970s has been warmer than the previous decade and all of the 17 warmest years since temperature records were kept in 1880 have been since 1998. 2015 was the warmest year since temperature records were kept in 1880, breaking the record just set in 2014. January 2016 was the warmest January since 1880 and the previous 8 months were also record breakers for their respective months.
    3. Polar icecaps and glaciers worldwide have been melting rapidly, faster than scientific projections.
    4. There has been an increase in the number and severity of droughts, wildfires, storms, and floods.
    5. California has been subjected to so many severe climate events (heat waves, droughts, wildfires, and mudslides when heavy rains occur) recently that its governor, Jerry Brown, stated that, “Humanity is on a collision course with nature.”
    6. Many climates experts believe that we are close to a tipping point when climate change will spiral out of control, with disastrous consequences, unless major positive changes soon occur.
    7. While climate scientists believe that 350 parts per million (ppm) of atmospheric CO2 is a threshold value for climate stability, the world reached 400 ppm in 2014, and the amount is increasing by 2 – 3 ppm per year.
    8. While climate scientists hope that temperature increases can be limited to two degrees Celsius (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit), largely because that is the best that can be hoped for with current trends and momentum, the world is now on track for an average increase of 4 – 5 degrees Celsius, which would produce a world with almost unimaginably negative climate events .
    9. The Pentagon and other military groups believe that climate change will increase the potential for instability, terrorism, and war by reducing access to food and clean water and by causing tens of millions of desperate refuges fleeing from droughts, wildfire, floods, storms, and other effects of climate change.
    10. Last, but far from least, the Israel Union for Environmental Defense has projected that, unless major changes soon occur, climate change in Israel will cause an average temperature rise up to 6 degrees Fahrenheit, a 20-30 percent decrease in precipitation, increasing desertification, and a possible inundation of the coastal plain where most Israelis live by a rising Mediterranean Sea.

    As president emeritus of Jewish Veg (formerly Jewish Vegetarians of North America), I want to stress that animal agriculture is a major contributor to climate change, emitting more greenhouse gase (in CO2 equivalents) than alll the cars and other means of transportion combined, according to a 2006 UN Food and Agriculture report, "Livestock's Long Shadow."

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