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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)

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Mourners Gather in Iceland to Commemorate the Loss of the Glacier Okjokull

Iceland glacier commemorated with plaque

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Ok is the first Icelandic glacier to lose its status as glacier. Pixabay

Mourners will gather in Iceland on Sunday to commemorate the loss of the glacier Okjokull, which was officially declared dead in 2014 at the age of 700. The glacier was officially declared dead when it was no longer thick enough to move. What once was glacier has been reduced to a small patch of ice atop a volcano, the BBC reported.

Prime Minister Katrin Jakobsdottir, Environment Minister Gudmundur Ingi Gudbrandsson and former Irish President Mary Robinson will all take part in a commemoration ceremony later in the day. After opening remarks by Jakobsdottir at the ceremony, mourners will walk up the volcano northeast of the capital Reykjavik to lay a plaque which carries a letter to the future.

“Ok is the first Icelandic glacier to lose its status as glacier,” it reads. “In the next 200 years all our main glaciers are expected to follow the same path. This monument is to acknowledge that we know what is happening and what needs to be done. “Only you know if we did it.”

The dedication, written by Icelandic author Andri Snaer Magnason, ends with the date of the ceremony and the concentration of carbon dioxide in the air globally – 415 parts per million (ppm). “This is a big symbolic moment,” Magnason told the BBC on Saturday.

“Climate change doesn’t have a beginning or end and I think the philosophy behind this plaque is to place this warning sign to remind ourselves that historical events are happening, and we should not normalise them. We should put our feet down and say, okay, this is gone, this is significant.”

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Irish President Mary Robinson will all take part in a commemoration ceremony later in the day. Pixabay

Oddur Sigurdsson, the glaciologist at the Icelandic Meteorological Office who pronounced Okjokull’s death in 2014, has been taking photographs of the country’s glaciers for the past 50 years, and noticed in 2003 that snow was melting before it could accumulate on Okjokull. Glaciers have great cultural significance in Iceland and beyond.

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Snaefellsjokull, a glacier-capped volcano in the west of the country, is where characters in Jules Verne’s science fiction novel “Journey to the Centre of the Earth” found a passage to the core of the planet. That glacier is now also receding. (IANS)