Extreme Heat Waves Scientists Describe Intense Heat in Europe and the United States as Almost Impossible without Climate Change
A recent scientific study revealed that the heatwaves experienced in European and American countries during the current month of July would have been “practically impossible” without climate change due to human activities.
The global warming resulting from burning fossil fuels has increased the likelihood of extreme heatwaves impacting regions in China by up to 50 times.
The study found that climate change effects meant that the heatwave experienced in Southern Europe was 2.5 degrees Celsius hotter.
Experts warn that almost all communities are unprepared to face deadly extreme temperatures.
Julie Arrighi from the Climate Centre of the Red Cross and Red Crescent, one of the study supervisors, stated, “Heat is among the deadliest types of disasters.”
She added that countries should construct heat-resistant homes and build “cooling centers” for people, as well as find ways to cool cities, including planting more trees.
July witnessed record-breaking temperatures in areas of China, Southern United States, and Spain, with millions of people enduring extreme heat warnings.
Extreme heat poses a very serious threat to life, especially among the elderly.
One study indicated that over 61,000 people died from heat-related causes during heatwaves in Europe last year.
Frederick Otto from Imperial College London said, “This study confirms what we knew already. It shows again how much climate change is affecting what we experience today.”
Climate scientists assert that decades of human pumping of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere have caused global temperatures to rise.
However, not all extreme weather phenomena can be directly linked to climate change, as natural weather patterns can also play a role.
In a collaboration between UK, US, and Dutch scientists, part of the “International Climate Research” group, recent heatwaves were studied to determine climate change’s impact.
Using computer models simulating a world without emissions to know the true global temperatures recorded during the heatwaves.
Scientists concluded that the North American heatwave was two degrees Celsius hotter, and the heatwave in China was one degree Celsius hotter due to climate change.
Global temperatures have risen by 1.1 degrees Celsius compared to the pre-industrial period, before humans started burning fossil fuels.
However, if temperatures rise by two degrees Celsius, a possibility warned of, given the slow pace of countries’ emission reduction, such phenomena may occur every two to five years.
The study also considered the role of the “El Niño” phenomenon, a powerful natural climate change that began last June, resulting in higher global temperatures due to the warm waters surfacing in the Equatorial Pacific, driving heat into the air.
While El Niño might have played a small role, the main driver for extreme heatwaves was burning fossil fuels.
Climate records recently showed a decline, including global mean temperatures and sea surface temperatures, especially in the North Atlantic.
Experts state that the speed and timing of these “unprecedented” fluctuations may experience further disruptions in the coming weeks and months.
Dangerous wildfires in Greece forced thousands to evacuate hotels over the weekend, with experts cautioning that hot and dry weather created more favorable conditions for fire spreading.