Climate change will make UK heat waves 13 time more likely

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Human induced climate change will increase the chances of record breaking warm years in England, according to scientists. A study suggests the exceptionally warm years are now 13 times more likely to occur because human activities are affecting the climate.

The research, which has been published in Environmental Research Letters, suggests a “substantial and significant” increase in the likelihood of record-breaking warms years, such as 2014, which was one of the warmest years since records began.

The researchers state, “With 90% confidence we found that anthropogenic forcings on the climate have increased the chance of record wamn years in Central England by at least 13-fold.”

They add that the study points to a “large influence of human activities” on extreme warm years. The researchers used climate models to compare years of natural variation with the impact of manmade climate change

Dr Peter Scott, head of climate monitoring and attribution at the Met Office Hadley Centre, commented, “This new research adds another piece of evidence that human-induced climate change is increasing the change of record breaking temperatures around the world including in the UK.”

He went on to explain, “At the Met Office we produced similar research late last year showing how climate change had made the UK record breaking temperature about ten times more likely. The fact that what might seem relatively modest rises in temperature around the world are causing quite dramatic increases in the likelihood of extreme temperatures may seem surprising but this is a well understood feature of how change in mean temperatures affect extremes.”

Photo: Gerwin Sturm via Flickr

Further reading:

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