Vancouver (dpa) – The intense heat of the past few days in western North America with temperatures around 50 degrees was impossible without climate change, a study shows.
According to a high-level international group of climate researchers, global warming caused by greenhouse gases has increased the likelihood of a heat wave in Canada and the United States 150 times. However, the study by the World Weather Attribution (WWA) project has not yet been published in any specialized journal.
The scientists compared temperatures in late June and early July with historical data from 1800. In doing so, they concluded that a heat wave, even with current advances in climate change, was an event likely to occur only once in 1,000 years. One message reads: “The statistical equivalent of real bad luck.” “What we’re seeing is unprecedented,” said co-author Frederic Otto of the University of Oxford. “It is not normal for temperature records to break by four or five degrees Celsius.”
What is the cause of heat?
Canada in particular, as well as the northwestern United States, have been exposed to unprecedented heat in the past few weeks. About 260 kilometers northeast of Vancouver, 49.6 degrees were measured in the Canadian community of Lytton – the record in Canada was previously 45 degrees. A few days later, the village was almost completely destroyed in an inferno. In British Columbia, more than 700 sudden and unexpected deaths were also reported within a week.
The researchers stress that it seems highly unlikely, but not impossible, that there could be another cause of the heat in addition to the coincidence associated with global warming: that climate change has reached an as-yet-unreached threshold. To accumulate very quickly. However, the data collected has not yet indicated this.
According to the study, the unusual events could only be a prediction of the future in northern latitudes like Germany: global warming of two degrees Celsius, which will be reached with current emissions within a few decades, could be events like the heat in the north. America rather than the average let it happen once every 1,000 years every five to ten years.
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