Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Europe's Hot, Fiery Summer Linked to Global Warming, Study Shows

The extreme heat, which fed wildfires and a heat wave so fierce it was dubbed 'Lucifer', was made 10 times more likely by climate change, scientists find.

Villagers fight a wildfire in an orchard as nearly 80 large fires burned across Portugal in early August 2017. (Credit: Patricia de Melo Moreira/AFP/Getty Images) Click to Enlarge.
Global warming made this summer's record heat across Southern Europe—with its wildfires and a heat wave so vicious it was nicknamed "Lucifer"—10 times more likely than it would have been in the early 1900s, scientists said today in a study published by the World Weather Attribution research group.  If greenhouse gas emissions aren't cut soon, such heat waves will be the regional summer norm by 2050, the study concluded.

The scientists, from universities and research institutions in Europe and the United States, said they are more certain than ever that human-caused global warming is a key driver of the extreme heat.

As the average global temperature goes up, it becomes easier to pick out the climate change signal, said lead author Sarah Kew, a climate researcher with the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute.

The research is the newest in a series of climate attribution studies assessing how heat-trapping pollution affects recent extreme weather events like heat waves, droughts and extreme rainfall.  The findings are crucial for governments that have to prepare for more extreme climate events ahead.

Read more at Europe's Hot, Fiery Summer Linked to Global Warming, Study Shows

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