Recent US-Canada heatwave ‘virtually impossible’ without warming

'Recent US-Canada heatwave 'virtually impossible' without warming'
People suffered the impacts of heat across a large swathe of the western US and Canada. Source: Reuters
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Daily US Times: Scientists say that the searing heatwave that scorched the US and western Canada at the end of June was “virtually impossible” without climate change.

The team of researchers says in their study that the deadly heatwave was a one-in-a-1,000-year event.

But we can expect extreme events like this to become more common as the world heats up due to climate change.

If humans had not influenced the climate to the extent that they have, the extreme heatwave would have been 150 times less likely.

Scientists are worried that global warming, largely as a result of burning fossil fuels, is now driving up temperatures faster than models predict.

In recent years, climate researchers have grown used to heatwaves breaking records all across the world. However, beating the previous national high temperature record by 10% in one go, as it happened in Canada last week, is virtually unprecedented.

All across the region, in the US states of Washington and Oregon and in the west of Canada, multiple cities hit new records far above 40C.

The recent extreme heatwaves had deadly consequences for hundreds of people, with big increases in hospital visits for heat-related illness and spikes in sudden deaths.

Since the start of the heatwave, people have linked the extreme and unusual nature of the event to climate change.

Now, researchers say that the chances of it occurring without human-induced warming were virtually impossible.

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