Temperatures were significantly higher than normal in northern Europe over the last month due to a heatwave. They are regularly over 30 degrees Celcius and have broken several records. Additionally, wildfires occurred in Sweden and the UK.
According to a preliminary analysis, the reason for this heatwave in northern Europe is most likely a climate change. The average global temperature rises due to higher levels of greenhouse gases, thus, more extreme bouts of high temperatures follow.
A team at World Weather Attribution led by Friederike Otto of the University of Oxford has conducted a rapid-response study of the reasons for the current heatwave.
They simulated two models with and without greenhouse gas emissions and noticed that the probability to have such heat or higher is generally more than two times higher today than if the climate wasn’t altered. The intensity of the climate effect varies from country to country.
However, Scandinavia is the region where a figure on the increase in the risk of heatwaves could not be estimated because summer temperatures there are very variable.
The study has not gone through rigorous peer-review, thus, we should be a little more skeptical. However, these findings are consistent with a broader body of work, that proves the impact of climate change on these sorts of events.
The team estimates that similar scenario will happen again in the next 4-7 years in Dublin and the Netherlands.
Michael Mann of Pennsylvania State University says that this summer’s extreme weather in the Northern Hemisphere is related to a near-stationary perturbation in the jet stream. Many such extreme weather events followed such patterns. For instance, the 2003 European heat wave, 2010 Moscow wildfires, 2011 Texas and Oklahoma drought, and the 2016 Alberta wildfires.
The only way to fight against this scenario is to fight for ecology. According to Mann, individual actions and governmental policies to make a rapid shift from fossil fuels to renewable energy is something that we truly need at the moment.