A new report from the World Weather Attribution initiative finds that climate change has contributed to record-high temperatures.
Heatwaves experienced in some parts of the northern hemisphere this July (2023), including the Southwest of the United States and Mexico, Southern Europe, and China, would have been “virtually impossible” without human-induced climate change and risk becoming more frequent and intense. That’s according to research from the World Weather Attribution initiative, an international group of scientists that quantify how climate change affects the intensity and likelihood of an extreme weather event.
This July, record-high temperatures affected over 100 million people in the United States alone, causing heat-related deaths and illnesses, power outages, crop damage, and livestock losses.
Scientists say that warming due to human activities has increased the likelihood of such heat events, making them a once-in-every-15 -years occurrence in the United States and Mexico. However, unless the world rapidly stops burning fossil fuels, they will become even more common, and the world will experience heatwaves that are even hotter and longer lasting.
“A heatwave like the recent ones would occur every 2-5 years in a world that is 2°C warmer than the pre-industrial climate”, states the report.
Read the report here.