A study published on Friday showed that human-caused climate change increased the likelihood of a July heat wave in the United Kingdom ten times.
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The temperature crossed the 40-degree Celsius threshold in the UK on July 19, a first in this country, like the rest of Western Europe, due to a heat wave that has caused fires around London, and damaged homes.
An international team of researchers modeled the probability of such a heat wave occurring in a pre-industrial climate, then compared this probability with the current climate, i.e. global average warming of 1.2°C compared to the pre-industrial period. .
They focused on records being set in the hardest-hit parts of the UK, central England and eastern Wales. This probability appears to be at least ten times higher with global warming.
According to this study, extreme events affecting Europe have increased more than predicted by climate models.
“In Europe and other parts of the world, we are seeing more and more heat waves with record temperatures, leading to extreme temperatures, which are increasing at a faster rate than most climate models,” says Frederic Otto, of the Grantham Institute at Imperial College. London.
“This is a worrying finding that suggests that if carbon emissions are not reduced quickly, the consequences of climate change for extreme temperatures in Europe, which are already very deadly, could be worse than expected,” she continued.