This summer’s deadly heatwaves in the Southwestern US and Europe would have been “virtually impossible” in the absence of fossil-fueled climate change, and the record heat in China was made 50 times more likely by it, according to an analysis based on peer-reviewed methods by World Weather Attribution.
The researchers found “the burning of fossil fuels is the main reason the heatwaves are so severe.” According to one of the researchers, Dr. Friederike Otto, “The role of climate change is absolutely overwhelming… Such heatwaves are no longer rare and the most important thing is, these extremes kill people, particularly destroying the lives and livelihoods of the most vulnerable. Politicians often claim that they care about normal people and poor people. If we did value people, it’s pretty obvious what we need to do. I don’t think stronger evidence has ever been presented for a scientific question.” (Inside Climate News, The Guardian, Reuters, Politico EU, Bloomberg $, CNN, NPR, Axios, CBS, NPR, Washington Post $, Deutsche Welle, Scientific American, Carbon Brief, The Independent, Daily Beast; Climate Signals background: Extreme heat and heatwaves)