World: Climate change made Britain’s heatwave at least 10 times more likely, scientists say

Wildfire rages near Athens as Britain faces aftermath of hottest day

  Wildfire rages near Athens as Britain faces aftermath of hottest day Wildfire rages near Athens as Britain faces aftermath of hottest dayATHENS/LONDON (Reuters) - A wildfire fuelled by gale-force winds raged in mountains near Athens on Wednesday, forcing hundreds including hospital patients to evacuate, as Britain counted the cost of its hottest ever day.

By Gloria Dickie

Heatwave in Britain © Reuters/HENRY NICHOLLS Heatwave in Britain

LONDON (Reuters) - The heatwave which scorched Britain last week was made at least 10 times more likely because of climate change, scientists reported Thursday.

On July 19, temperatures climbed above 40C (104 Fahrenheit) at Heathrow Airport and records were broken at 46 local monitoring stations across the country. Emergency calls for ambulances surged and a series of grass fires broke out around London.

Without human-caused climate change, which has warmed the world 1.2C above pre-industrial temperatures, such an event would have been extremely unlikely, scientists said.

Biden disappoints activists with climate emergency talk and not action

  Biden disappoints activists with climate emergency talk and not action President Joe Biden promised to counter climate change on the campaign trail, but Democrats are complaining he is not meeting the moment now he is in office. After Biden's pledges were de-prioritized due to the pandemic economy and then Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-WV) scuttling the latest iteration of the president's social welfare and climate spending bill amid record-breaking heat waves has thrust the issue back into the political spotlight.

"We are living in a world where temperatures are rising very fast," said Friederike Otto, a climate scientist at Imperial College London. "In 1.3C or 1.4C, this type of event will already be much less rare."

Climate change is making heatwaves more frequent and more severe, according to the World Weather Attribution (WWA), an international research collaboration that teases out the role of climate change in extreme events.

To determine how climate change influenced the odds of this specific heatwave in Britain, 21 WWA climate scientists, including Otto, performed a rapid analysis of the event using weather data and computer simulations to compare today's climate with the past.

Before the industrial revolution and rise of planet-warming emissions, they found the heatwave would have been far less likely to occur and would have been 4C cooler.

GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham says he doesn't 'want to be lectured' on what lawmakers should do to 'destroy' the US economy over climate change

  GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham says he doesn't 'want to be lectured' on what lawmakers should do to 'destroy' the US economy over climate change "The Democratic Party has made climate change a religion and their solutions are draconian," the South Carolina Republican told The New York Times.The US Department of Agriculture released its food price outlook for 2022, and it found that a range of foods, from sweets to fruit, will likely be getting more expensive. After the Russian invasion of Ukraine last month, the US sanctioned Russia and disrupted shipments of Russian fertilizer, which farmers are heavily reliant on, and it's caused prices to soar alongside the worsening climate crisis.

However, the scientists added their estimates were conservative, as extreme temperatures in western Europe have risen more than their climate models simulate.

"The climate models have a systematic bias in that they underestimate the trend in extreme temperatures in summers in western Europe because of climate change," said Otto.

In May, the WWA pinned down that the South Asia heatwave of March and April this year had been made 30 times more likely due to climate change, while last year's heatwave in the Pacific Northwest would have been "virtually impossible" without it.

Scientists were unable to provide such a definitive statement for Britain's heatwave.

Still, climate scientists expressed alarm at how quickly past warnings are coming to fruition.

"Two years ago, scientists at the UK Met Office found the chance of seeing 40 degrees in the UK was now 1 in 100 in any given year, up from 1 in 1000 in the natural climate," said Fraser Lott, a climate scientist at the UK Met Office Hadley Centre in a statement. "It's been sobering to see such an event happen so soon after that study."

(Reporting by Gloria Dickie in London, Editing by Angus MacSwan)

Climate migration growing but not fully recognized by world .
TIJUANA, Mexico (AP) — Worsening climate largely from the burning of coal and gas is uprooting millions of people, with wildfires overrunning towns in California, rising seas overtaking island nations and drought exacerbating conflicts in various parts of the world. Each year, natural disasters force an average of 21.5 million people from their homes around the world, according to the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees. And scientists predict migration will grow as the planet gets hotter. Over the next 30 years, 143 million people are likely to be uprooted by rising seas, drought, searing temperatures and other climate catastrophes, according to the U.N.

See also