Yes, blame it on climate change.

Human-driven global warming fuels the heat wave May kill hundreds of people Last week spanned the Pacific Northwest of the United States and Canada.

According to reports, the large accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has increased the likelihood of this unprecedented weather event by 150 times. An analysis Attribution through world weather.This Loosely affiliated global team of scientists The conclusion is that if there is no climate change, extreme heat waves are “near impossible” to occur, and climate change has warmed the earth by approximately 2.2 degrees Fahrenheit (1.2 degrees Celsius).

Scientists have long refused to attribute any single weather event to climate change. They insist that this will make heat waves, droughts, fires and hurricanes more frequent and severe. However, more satellite data records, higher computing power, and higher-resolution climate simulations give researchers more confidence, usually showing within a few days that global warming has greatly increased the probability of a particular disaster. (Look 10 breakthrough technologies in 2020: Attribution of climate change.)

The extreme temperature of the last week Broke the highest heat record in history Power outages in towns throughout the region Tens of thousands of families, And sent more than 2,000 people to emergency rooms in Washington and Oregon to deal with heat-related illnesses.

According to reports, so far, officials have reported more than 100 high-temperature-related deaths in these states. Assorted Media reprintIn addition, there were nearly 500 “sudden and accidental deaths” in British Columbia, approximately 300 more than normal during the relevant five-day period.

The most likely scenario is that rising global temperatures will only exacerbate the consequences of the abnormal atmospheric conditions that occurred last week, when a so-called thermal dome captured hot air over large areas of the region. Researchers have found that if this is the case, if the temperature rises by 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit (2 degrees Celsius), similar events may occur once or twice every ten years.

The more disturbing possibility is that greenhouse gas emissions have pushed the climate system past some unknown and little-known thresholds, at which the global warming is causing extreme temperatures to rise sharply than expected. This theory needs further research to evaluate. But this means that severe heat waves will exceed the level predicted by current climate models, the researchers said.

“You shouldn’t break the record by four to five degrees Celsius (seven to nine degrees Fahrenheit),” said Frederick Otto, co-leader of world weather attribution and deputy director of the Oxford University Environmental Change Institute, in a statement. “This is such a special event. We cannot rule out the possibility that we are experiencing extreme high temperatures today. We only expect higher levels of global warming.”

other Expected heat wave In the next few days, temperatures in parts of the northwest will rise to triple digits.

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