Siberia heat 'almost impossible' without climate change - GulfToday

Siberia heat 'almost impossible' without climate change

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Picture used for illustrative purpose. File

A heatwave in Siberia that saw temperature records tumble as the region sweltered in 38-degree Celsius highs was "almost impossible" without the influence of manmade climate change, leading scientists said.

An international team of researchers found that the record-breaking warm period was more than 2C hotter than it would have been if humans had not warmed the planet through decades of greenhouse gas emissions.

The five hottest years in history have occurred in the last five years and there's a better-than-even chance that 2020 will be the hottest ever recorded.

Earth's poles are warming faster than the rest of the planet, and temperatures in Siberia -- home to much of the world's carbon-rich permafrost -- were more than 5C hotter than average between January and June.

One town, Verkhoyansk, recorded a temperature of 38C (100.4 Fahrenheit) -- smashing previous records.

Andrew Ciavarella, senior detection and attribution scientist at Britain's Met Office, described the findings released Wednesday as "staggering".


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"This is further evidence of the extreme temperatures we can expect to see more frequently around the world in a warming climate," he said.

The impact of climate change on extreme weather events such as super storms and droughts is now well-established, but until fairly recently scientists have been unable to definitively link an individual event to global warming.

As part of a growing area of climate research known as attribution science, the team ran computer simulations of temperatures with the climate as it is today -- around 1C hotter than the pre-Industrial era baseline.

They then compared this to a model generating temperatures over Siberia this year without human influence -- that is, without the additional manmade 1C.

They found that the prolonged heat would happen less than once every 80,000 years without human induced climate change.

This makes the heatwave "almost impossible in a climate that had not been warmed by greenhouse gas emissions", the team said, adding that carbon pollution had made the extreme event at least 600 times more likely to occur.

Agence France-Presse

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