"Alarm" from scientists: The planet must be prepared for new unbearable heat waves

Elevated temperatures will hit faster and with greater intensity from now on, experts say


Elevated temperatures will hit faster and more intensely from now on, more than we expected, climate scientists warn on the occasion of the deadly heat wave that recently hit the US and Canada.

Last week's unbearable heatwave in British Columbia, Washington state and Portland topped temperatures by more than five degrees Celsius in some places - a rise that two weeks ago seemed unlikely, say raises concerns that the climate may have crossed a dangerous threshold.

The first analysis for the unprecedented heat wave that swept the above areas, published on Wednesday, showed that climate change, as a result of human actions, made extreme weather conditions at least 150 times more likely.

Temperatures are rising in every corner of the earth as a result of the greenhouse effect, and scientists have long since warned that high temperature records will be broken more and more often.

However, in this new study, the scientists emphasize that the climbing of mercury this time overcame even the worst case scenario of their climate models. They were thus forced to reconsider their assumptions about heat waves and consider the possibility of other parts of the world experiencing similar phenomena.

"This is the biggest temperature jump I've ever seen," says Dr. Friedrich Otto, CEO of the University of Oxford Institute for Environmental Change and a member of the World Weather Attribution Network, which conducted the study. "Of course we should not expect heatwaves to behave in the future as they did in the past; so we should prepare accordingly," the Guardian said.

More than thunderstorms and floods, for Otto, emissions from humans have had the clearest and most devastating effect on heat waves, which now reach levels not adequately represented in current computer models.

The key concern now is whether the affected areas are simply unlucky or whether climate change has crossed a threshold and entered a new phase where a small amount of general warming can cause a faster rise in extreme temperatures.

Scientists can not say for sure at this time, but researchers will now urgently study whether additional forms of climate change, such as drought or slowing down the flow, could amplify heat waves.