Extreme heat is coming even faster than predicted

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In April, Spain experienced an unprecedented, particularly long heat wave – with 38.8 degrees Celsius, the thermometer rose more than ever in Europe this month. However, this should be just the beginning of climate change – according to a recent study, record temperatures will become “a hundred times more likely” in the future. The changes are happening faster than the climate models have calculated.

According to a scientific study, the recent heat in Spain and other western Mediterranean countries is most likely due to human-induced climate change. Climate change has made record temperatures of around 40 degrees in late April in Spain, Portugal, Morocco and Algeria “at least a hundred times more likely,” according to a report by the international research network World Weather Attribution (WWA) on Friday.

Such a heat wave without climate change “almost impossible”
Such heat in late April “would have been almost impossible without climate change,” the study authors write. A few days ago, parts of southwestern Europe and northern Africa were hit by extreme heat, with maximum temperatures of up to 41 degrees measured in the region, the WWA said.

In Spain, according to the national weather service Aemet, new April records were recorded in about 100 measuring stations across the country. The highest value of this most recent heat wave in the country was measured on April 27 with 38.8 degrees in Córdoba, Andalusia. The previous high in the city for April was also exceeded by 4.8 degrees.

Heat waves “more often, longer, hotter”
“As other analyzes of extreme heat in Europe have shown, extreme temperatures in the region are rising faster than climate models predicted,” the WWA report said. But the problem is not limited to Europe. As a result of climate change, heat waves have “become more frequent, longer and hotter globally”.

“Unless greenhouse gas emissions are stopped altogether, global temperatures will continue to rise and such events will become more frequent and violent,” warns the international organization, which includes several renowned climate scientists.

Devastating consequences for the entire region
One of them is Friederike Otto from Kiel, who has been working at Imperial College London since 2021. In connection with the study, she stressed that the Mediterranean region is “one of the regions most at risk from climate change in Europe”. “The region is already experiencing a very intense and prolonged drought and these high temperatures at a time of year when it should rain only make the situation worse,” said Otto.

“Without a rapid halt to fossil fuel burning and adaptation to a warmer, drier climate, casualties and damage in the region will continue to escalate dramatically.”

Source: Krone

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