Scientists have claimed that the current Europe-wide heatwave has been made twice more likely to reoccur because of climate change because of human activities.
The conclusion was arrived at following comparison of the present high temperatures with the historical data of temperature from different parts of Europe from seven weather stations.
The scientists have preliminary reports have found that the “signal of climate change is unambiguous,” as given out by the this summer’s heat.
There is also unprecedented heatwave in the arctic, they also say.
Many questions have been raised related to the impact of global warming on extreme events by the scale and breadth of the present heat that is has overwhelmed Europe.
Data from seven weather stations, in Finland, Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Norway and Sweden were looked into by researchers in order to try and examine a possible connection.
These weather stations were chosen because all had digitised records dating back to the early 1900s. That was not the case with UK. Assessment of the scale of human-influenced climate change was made using computer models by the team.
The chances of the current heatwave being repeated have increased by more than twice by climate change in the weather stations in the Netherlands, Ireland and Denmark, the researchers found.
While there are multiple definitions accepted by scientists for a heatwave, the researchers in this study accepted the hottest consecutive three-day period in a year definition. This adoption enabled the scientists to compare and contrast data from the seven different locations during a period of the last 100 years.
“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,” said 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.”
The scientists also say that so far this year there has not been an occurrence of the warmest three days in succession. But the overall impact would not be changed even if next week is warmer, they said.
One thing that the scientists have not been able to explain is that whether the high pressure system that has remained steadily over Europe for over the last two months was in any because of climate change. However, the study does give figures for what are termed “return periods” or the chances of something happening again.
The researchers have claimed that a similar heatwave every 10 years would probably occur in southern Scandinavia while it would occur every five years further south such as in the Netherlands.
“The logic that climate change will do this is inescapable – the world is becoming warmer, and so heatwaves like this are becoming more common,” said Dr Friederike Otto, from the University of Oxford.
“What was once regarded as unusually warm weather will become commonplace – in some cases, it already has,” she added.
(Adapted from BBC.com)