India and Pakistan recently experienced record temperatures. An assessment by the researchers now shows that climate change is making such heat waves more likely.
According to a recent analysis, heat waves like the recent one in India and Pakistan are becoming about 30 times more likely due to climate change.
This was analyzed by nearly 30 researchers from Great Britain, India, Pakistan and other countries who came together in the World Weather Attribution Group. So-called attribution research examines whether and to what extent extreme weather events can be attributed to global warming.
According to the study, which has not yet been reviewed and published Monday evening, the likelihood of such a heat wave, which has caused at least 90 deaths in India and Pakistan in recent weeks, is currently – as the Earth warms. About 1.2 degrees – still pretty low: you have to calculate with a probability of one percent each year. However, prior to the onset of the Industrial Age, this possibility was only 30 of that possibility. With a global warming of two degrees, the researchers wrote, such an extreme heat wave should be expected every five years.
The hottest March in India ever
March was the hottest in India since records began 122 years ago, and record temperatures were also measured in Pakistan. The drought has also exacerbated the situation: in both countries, rainfall has fallen 60 percent below normal.
To calculate the impact of climate change, the researchers analyzed weather data and computer simulations to compare today with those of the late 19th century.
German climate researcher Friedrich Otto of Imperial College London, who worked on the impact, declared heat waves to be the deadliest weather event ever. “At the same time, it is these extreme events that are on the rise in a warming world. As long as greenhouse gas emissions continue, such events will become an increasingly frequent disaster,” Otto said. (dpa)
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