European and North American heatwaves ‘virtually impossible’ without climate change

European and North American heatwaves ‘virtually impossible’ without climate change

Please use the sharing tools found via the share button at the top or side of articles. Copying articles to share with others is a breach of FT.comT&Cs and Copyright Policy. Email [email protected] to buy additional rights. Subscribers may share up to 10 or 20 articles per month using the gift article service. More information can be found here.

The heatwaves that hit North America and Europe in July would have been “virtually impossible without climate change”, said researchers who stressed that extreme weather events would occur with greater frequency.

The World Weather Attribution research group, an academic collaboration, added that human-induced warming made the recent extreme heat in China “at least 50 times more likely”.

Events like the simultaneous and record-breaking temperatures in July could now be expected roughly “once every 15 years in North America, about once every 10 years in southern Europe and approximately once every five years in China”, WWA said in a report on Tuesday. The group found that about 75 per cent of extreme weather events it had recently assessed were made more likely or severe by climate change.

If the world warmed by 2C above pre-industrial levels, “events like [the recent heatwaves] will become even more frequent, occurring every two-five years”, the team of six researchers from the UK and the Netherlands said. The 2016 Paris Agreement commits countries to strive to limit warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels.

However, the world has already warmed by at least 1.1C, and current climate pledges set it on track for a temperature rise of between 2.4C and 2.6C by 2100, according to the UN. “The result of this attribution study is not surprising,” said Friederike Otto, senior lecturer in climate science at the Grantham Institute for Climate Change and the Environment and an author of the report. “The world hasn’t stopped burning fossil fuels, the climate continues to warm and heatwaves continue to become more extreme.”

Read more at Financial Times

Photo: Financial Times

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.