Climate Change Drove Western Heat Wave’s Extreme Records, Analysis Finds

A rapid analysis of last week’s record-breaking heat found that it would have been virtually impossible without the influence of human-caused climate change. The extraordinary heat wave that scorched the Pacific Northwest last week would almost certainly not have occurred without global warming, an international team of climate researchers said. If the world warms another 1.5 degrees Fahrenheit, which could occur this century barring drastic cuts in greenhouse-gas emissions, similar events would not be so rare, the researchers found. The chances of such a severe heat wave occurring somewhere in the world would increase to as much as 20 percent in a given year.

By Henry Fountain. New York Times. July 7, 2021.

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