A heatwave that is supposed to happen once in every 40,000 years takes place more frequently because of the climate crisis, experts warned.
Record-shattering temperatures hit Spain, Portugal, Morocco and Algeria last week. This heatwave was made at least 100 times more likely by global heating, researchers warned.
The heatwave occurred at a crucial point in the growing season for crops, particularly wheat, and added to the hardships farmers were already experiencing due to a protracted drought.
Scientists are concerned that the region’s extreme temperatures are rising faster than predicted by climate models. Extensive research is being done to understand why, although climate change caused by climate activity is believed to be the reason.
It was already known that heatwaves were becoming more severe and frequent due to human-caused global warming. However, an increasing number of extreme events are occurring that would have been practically unimaginable before the climate crisis, claiming lives and destroying livelihoods all over the world.
“The Mediterranean is one of the most vulnerable regions to climate change in Europe,” said Dr Friederike Otto, at Imperial College London, who was one of the study team. “These heatwaves are definitely not going away, so these kinds of conditions will occur ever more frequently until we stop emitting greenhouse gases.”
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Image Credit © World Economic Forum