British scientists say temperatures are rising faster than their instruments are measuring | Weather news

Climate change caused by human activities has increased the risk of heat waves at least tenfold. That’s according to a new study. The World Weather Attribution Project, which conducted the analysis, cautioned that the findings could be underestimated and that the tools available to scientists to accurately estimate the role humans play in heat waves are too limited.

Heat waves are becoming more common and longer lasting around the world. Scientists say man-made climate change affects all heat waves. A more difficult question to answer is, “To what extent are humans responsible?”

Scientists use a combination of observations and climate models to determine human influence on extreme heat. Although the models are mostly consistent with their findings, the observed extreme heat in Western Europe has increased more than the models estimated.

40 degrees

“Models estimate that greenhouse gas emissions increased temperatures by 2°C during this heat wave, while recent meteorological data suggest that the heat wave would have been 4°C cooler in a world that had not been warmed by human activity,” he said. WWA said in a press release. “This indicates that models greatly underestimate the true impact of human-induced climate change.”

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The United Kingdom was hit by high temperatures last week, which exceeded 40 degrees Celsius for the first time in history on July 19, reaching 40.3C in the English village of Conningsby. The British government has issued the first extreme heat warning for many parts of England, including the English capital London.

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“In Europe and the rest of the world, we are seeing more record heat waves causing extreme temperatures to warm faster than most climate models,” said Friedrich Otto of Imperial College London, who leads the WWA project. “This is a worrying finding that suggests that unless carbon emissions are reduced quickly, the impact of climate change on extreme heat in Europe, which is already very dangerous, will be worse than we previously thought.”

More and more heat waves

Scientists say that any increase in global warming will worsen the impact of the climate crisis. The world has already warmed by an average of 1.2°C and there is a growing consensus that humans should try to limit warming to 1.5°C to avoid tipping points. If it fails, some of the ecosystems that depend on Earth may struggle to recover.

According to the scientists, the model results show that a heat wave as extreme as the one in Europe last week is “still rare in the current climate”. The probability of this happening every year is only 1%. However, meteorological data show that the results of computer simulations are on the conservative side and similar extreme heat waves are likely to occur more frequently.

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Ferdinand Woolridge

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