Emergency workers are battling fires across Europe, Britain has just recorded it’s hottest day and thousands of people have died because of extreme heat. Here’s how climate change is driving these events:
How climate change drives heatwaves and wildfires in Europe
Europe is in the grip of a record-breaking heatwave and wildfires are raging across the Mediterranean. Here’s how climate change drives these events.
Hotter, more frequent heatwaves
Climate change makes heatwaves hotter and more frequent. This is the case for most land regions, and has been confirmed by the UN’s global panel of climate scientists (IPCC).
Greenhouse gas emissions from human activities have heated the planet by about 1.2C since pre-industrial times. That warmer baseline means higher temperatures can be reached during extreme heat events.
“Every heatwave that what we are experiencing today has been made hotter and more frequent because of climate change,” said Friederike Otto, a climate scientist at Imperial College London who also co-leads the World Weather Attribution research collaboration.