03 August 2018 0 Comments Posted By : Administrator

Record heat, fires worsened by climate change, says science report

All over the world, heat waves are setting all-time high temperatures—with Europe suffering its deadliest fire incident in over a century. Also,one of nearly 90 large fires across the U.S. West razed down dozens of homes, forcing the evacuation of at least 37,000 people near Redding, California.

According to scientists, the ravaging fires and accompanying heat “is all part of summer”, but it’s made worse by human-induced climate change.

“Weirdness abounds,” said Rutgers University climate scientist Jennifer Francis.

On Monday, Japan hit its hottest ever temperature at 106 degrees and records equally dropped in parts of Massachusetts, Wyoming, Oregon, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas and Maine. In normally chilly European zones like Norway, Finland and Sweden, record temperatures of over 90 degrees were noticed. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, so far in July, “at least 118 of these all-time heat records have been set or tied across the globe.”

“We now have very strong evidence that global warming has already put a thumb on the scales, upping the odds of extremes like severe heat and heavy rainfall,” said Stanford University climate scientist, Noah Diffenbaugh.

“We find that global warming has increased the odds of record-setting hot events over more than 80 percent of the planet and has increased the odds of record-setting wet events at around half of the planet.” Climate change is causing the world to experience more heat because of the build-up of heat-trapping gases from the burning of fossil fuels like coal and oil and other human activities. Experts say the jet stream — which dictates weather in the Northern Hemisphere — is behaving strangely again.

“An unusually sharply kinked jet stream has been stuck in place for weeks now,” said Jeff Masters, director of the private Weather Underground in a report. He noted that this “allows the heat to stay in place over three areas where the kinks are: Europe, Japan and the western United States.”

The 2003 European heat wave, the 2010 Russian heat waves and fires, the 2011 Texas and Oklahoma drought and the 2016 Canadian fires were all caused by the same jet stream pattern, said Michael Mann, Pennsylvania State University climate scientist.

“These extremes are becoming more common because of human-caused climate change and in particular, the amplified warming in the Arctic,” said Mann.

Climate scientists have continually claimed that it’s near impossible to link single weather events, like a heat wave, to human caused climate change without performing extensive study. In the past decade, observations, statistics and computer simulations have been utilized as tools to calculate if global warming increases the chances of the events.

However the case may be, the rise in temperature and heat wave indicates the need for home cooling systems, particularly energy savers like ceiling fans.

A study by a team of European scientists on Friday, discovered that the ongoing European heat wave is “twice as likely because of human-caused global warming”, though these conclusions have not yet been verified by external scientists. However, The World Weather Attribution team said they compared three-day heat measurements and forecasts for the Netherlands, Denmark and Ireland with historical records that date back to the early 1900s.

“The world is becoming warmer and so heatwaves like this are becoming more common,” said Friederike Otto, a member of the team and deputy director of the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford.

On Friday, in the United States alone, there were 89 active large fires, consuming nearly 900,000 acres, according the National Interagency Fire Center. So far this year, fires have burned 4.15 million acres—a near 14 percent increase than the average result over the past 10 years.

In 2004, the first major science study to connect greenhouse gases to stronger and longer heat waves was conducted. Titled “More intense, more frequent and longer lasting heat waves in the 21st century,” study author Gerald Meehl of the National Center for Atmospheric Research said Friday that currently, it “reads like a prediction of what has been happening and will continue to happen as long as average temperatures continue to rise with ever-increasing emissions of greenhouse gases from burning fossil fuels. It’s no mystery.”

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