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Scientists Relate Europe Heat Wave to Man-Made Climate Change

Global warming is also making such extreme heat more frequent, the study by experts from France, the Netherlands, Britain, Switzerland and Germany found

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heat wave, man-made climate change
Scientists say heatwaves such as the one Earth is currently experiencing are consistent with climate scenarios. Pixabay

The heat wave that smashed temperature records in Western Europe last month was made more intense by man-made climate change, according to a study published Friday. The rapid study by a team of European points to an array of evidence that man-made global warming was behind the continent’s most recent heat wave.

“The July 2019 heat wave was so extreme over continental Western Europe that the observed magnitudes would have been extremely unlikely without climate change,” the study concluded.

In countries where millions of people sweltered through the heatwave, temperatures would have been 1.5 to 3 degrees Celsius (2.7 to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit) lower in a world without human-induced climate change, the study said.

Global warming is also making such extreme heat more frequent, the study by experts from France, the Netherlands, Britain, Switzerland and Germany found.

heat wave, man-made climate change
People cool down in the fountains of the Trocadero gardens in Paris, Thursday July 25, 2019, when a new all-time high temperature of 42.6 degrees Celsius hit the French capital. VOA

The scientists said that the temperatures recorded in France and the Netherlands could happen every 50-150 years in the world’s current climate. Without “human influence on climate,” the temperatures would likely happen less than once in 1,000 years.

The report’s lead author, Robert Vautier of the Institut Pierre-Simon Laplace in France, said Europe needs to get used to such heat waves, which are likely to become more frequent and intense.

“This will go up and if we don’t do anything about climate change, about emissions, these heatwaves which today have an amplitude of 42 degrees, they will have three degrees more in 2050 so that is going to make 45 (degrees) roughly speaking,” he told The Associated Press.

While the heat wave broke in Western Europe after a few days late last month, the extreme temperatures have since shifted north and are causing massive ice melts in Greenland and the Arctic.

The scientists calculated the odds of this type of heat occurring now and how often it would have happened in a world without man-made global warming and compared them. They created the simulations by using eight different sets of complex computer models.

heat wave, man-made climate change
People frolic at a fountain for relief from a heat wave in St. Petersburg, Russia, July 27, 2019. VOA

The U.S. National Academy of Sciences in 2016 studied this new scientific method of climate attribution and pronounced it valid. Kathie Dello, a climate scientist from NC State University in North Carolina, said the study helps to pin the blame for the heat wave on climate change.

“If searching for a culprit for the intensity of these recent European heatwaves, climate change is the obvious culprit,” Dello said in an email. “Attribution is just dusting for fingerprints. Climate change will continue to be a menace when it comes to extreme heat, making these events more likely and more intense.”

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Another expert not connected to the study, Celine Bonfils of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California, said the findings are clear: “record hot weather events are becoming more likely, and human-induced climate change is causing this increase in heat wave frequency.”

The new report agreed with their assessments, saying that every recent European heatwave that has been analyzed “was found to be made much more likely and more intense due to human-induced climate change.” (VOA)

Next Story

Escalating Consequences of Climate Change Hit Countries Globally

India was ranked fifth vulnerable globally

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Climate
As Climate impacts begin to result in permanent loss and damage across the world, there is still no specific UN climate finance facility to reimburse the loss of land, culture and human lives. Pixabay

The escalating consequences of Climate change are now hitting both rich and poor countries, a report published on Wednesday said. India was ranked fifth vulnerable globally.

The Climate Risk Index 2020, an annual report by Germanwatch, ranks countries according to their vulnerability to extreme weather events.

It was released in the Spanish capital on the sidelines of the 25th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) or COP25 that is being held in the backdrop of climate impact biting globally.

According to the report, India has also been badly affected, ranking fifth in the overall global vulnerability index in 2018, ranked first in terms of fatalities and second in the world in terms of losses in millions of dollars.

India’s overall ranking has drastically fallen from 14th in 2017, to fifth in 2018.

The report shows that extreme weather, linked with climate change, is affecting not only the poorer countries like Myanmar and Haiti, but also some of the world’s richest countries.

Japan is the worst-hit country in 2018, while Germany and Canada were both also in the ‘bottom 10’ i.e. the most affected.

The results reflect the increasing damage caused by heatwaves, which scientists have found are being worsened by climate change.

To explain this drastic fall in ranking in a year, David Eckstein, Policy Advisor (Climate Finance and Investment) with Germanwatch said: “India’s high rank is due to severe rainfall, followed by heavy flooding and landslides that killed over 1,000 people.”

The state of Kerala was especially impacted. The floods were described as the worst in the last 100 years.

Climate
A report shows that extreme weather, linked with climate change, is affecting not only the poorer countries like Myanmar and Haiti, but also some of the world’s richest countries. Pixabay

According to Eckstein, India was struck by two cyclones in October and November 2018 that also nearly killed 1,000 people. Last but not least, India also suffered from extreme heat. While the human death toll was kept considerably low due to public measures, the economic damage was quite severe.

Other countries ranking in the bottom 20 in the overall climate risk categories are the US at 12th, Vietnam at sixth, Bangladesh at seventh and France at 15th.

The report also points to the importance of negotiations at COP25. As climate impacts begin to result in permanent loss and damage across the world, there is still no specific UN climate finance facility to reimburse the loss of land, culture and human lives.

So far, the industrialised countries have refused to even negotiate it.

But at COP25, for the first time, financial support for climate-related loss and damage is high on the agenda.

For the poorest and most vulnerable countries, this climate summit is, therefore, of the utmost importance. They demand that states agree a deal to support those who are suffering, or at least acknowledge the necessity, with a pathway towards real help.

Otherwise the poorest countries will continue to rely on loans to cope with the consequences of climate change, which means they are threatened with excessive debts, undermining often already vulnerable economies.

In the talks that will last till December 13, India has been ambitious in its actions.

Climate
The escalating consequences of Climate change are now hitting both rich and poor countries, a report published on Wednesday said. India was ranked fifth vulnerable globally. Pixabay

It has emphasised that developed countries should take the lead in undertaking ambitious actions and fulfil their climate finance commitments of mobilising $100 billion per annum by 2020 and progressively and substantially scale up their financial support to inform parties for future action through Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs).

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India is also stressing upon the need for fulfilling the pre-2020 commitments by developed countries, and that pre-2020 implementation gaps should not present an additional burden to developing countries in the post-2020 period.

The Indian delegation will be led by Environment Minister Prakash Javadekar, who is attending the summit from December 9. (IANS)