Climate change makes heatwaves twice more likely, says renowned climatologist Michael Mann and his colleagues. They have been examining data from seven weather stations in Finland, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway, and Sweden. They chose them because their digitized records dating back a century enabled them to reach faster conclusions.
Climate Change Makes Heatwaves
These climatologists’ findings come at an appropriate moment, given that much of the northern hemisphere may be facing some of the worst heatwaves in history. While drawing a direct cause-and-effect conclusion is difficult, ZME Science thinks they are on the right track.
“We found that for the weather station in the far north, in the Arctic Circle, the current heatwave is just extraordinary – unprecedented in the historical record,” Geert Jan van Oldenborgh of the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute told them. He is also working on the World Weather Attribution Project, which is contributing further to our understanding of how climate change makes heatwaves.
The Research Method the Climate Scientists Followed
Geert Jan van Oldenborgh and his colleagues first attributed extreme weather events at individual data sites. Then they remodeled the events without the influence of human emissions of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide.
This indicated the extent to which climate change could influence extreme weather events in future. “In many parts of Europe three day heat is not very exceptional and you could argue that it would be better to look at longer,” comments Dr. Friederike Otto from the University of Oxford, one of the study’s authors. “But we’ve looked at longer periods and it doesn’t change the result very much.”
We agree with the conclusion ZME Science reaches, in terms of the evidence that climate change makes heatwaves. “We are now in the phase that the effects of climate change are way beyond deniability,” they say. “It’s time to start acting and tackling this problem or suffer the consequences.” Chilling words indeed.
Preview Image: Severe Drought in Germany