Heat wave in North America: an “unprecedented” sign of climate change

Heat wave in North America: an "unprecedented" sign of climate change

Status: 08.07.2021 10:43 AM.

Nearly 50 degree temperatures, wildfires and hot winds – Canada and California suffer from extreme heat and drought. For researchers, one thing is clear: this type of weather would not exist without climate change.

According to a study, the scorching heat of the past few days in western North America would have been nearly impossible without climate change with temperatures of around 50 degrees Celsius.

According to the results of a World Weather Attribution (WWA) project study, a heat wave in Canada and the United States is 150 times more likely to occur due to the warming of the Earth due to greenhouse gases. However, it has not yet been published in any specialist journal.

Such heat records are not common

The scientists compared temperatures in late June and early July with historical data from 1800 onwards. In doing so, they concluded that the heat wave, even given current advances in climate change, was an event that was likely to occur only once in 1,000 years. “Statistical equivalent of real misfortune,” as one message says.

Friedrich Otto, a participating researcher from the University of Oxford, said: “What we see is unprecedented. It is not normal to break the heat record by four or five degrees Celsius”.

Canada in particular, but also the northwest of the United States, has been hit by unprecedented heat in the past few weeks. About 260 kilometers northeast of Vancouver, the Canadian community of Lytton measured 49.6 degrees – the record previously held in Canada was 45 degrees. A few days later, the village was almost completely destroyed in an inferno. In the province of British Columbia, there were also more than 700 sudden and unexpected deaths within a week.

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Events for a retrospective?

The researchers emphasize that it seems highly improbable, but not improbable, that there may be another cause of warming besides the coincidence with global warming: that is, climate change has reached an extent that has not yet Extreme weather phenomena are considered possible to pile up by leaps and bounds. However, the data collected has not yet indicated this.

According to the study, extraordinary events can only foreshadow the future in northern latitudes such as Germany: global warming of two degrees Celsius, which with current emissions will be reached in a few decades, could lead to heat-like events in the north. Let it happen once in 1000 years on average instead of US every five to ten years.

Drought, hot and extremely dangerous: California’s summer drought

Katharina Wilhelm, ARD Los Angeles, July 5, 2021 at 1:05 pm.

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