Study: No Doubt, Current Heat Waves Driven by Climate Change

Jul 27, 2023

The idea that climate change is driving up record temperatures worldwide is no longer an opinion.

That’s according to a study by World Weather Attribution. It's a scientific group that's found a direct link between rising greenhouse gases and this summer’s heat waves. Climate change is the main cause, the scientists found. 

“Had there been no climate change, such an event would almost never have occurred,” a climate scientist told The Associated Press. The study’s lead author said it was “virtually impossible” for the heat waves to happen without climate change.

The study also found that the increase in greenhouse gases in China made a repeat heat wave 50 times more likely than before. The research team used computers to calculate how much hotter greenhouse gases made July's heat waves. The data showed temps in Europe were 4.5 degrees Fahrenheit (F) hotter than it would have been without climate change. The same method showed the North American heat wave was 3.6 F hotter. And China's heat wave was 1.7 F hotter, according to the study.   

Other scientists have studied tree rings and other sources to find that July's recorded heat is the highest in 120,000 years. And it’s almost certain to get worse, they say.

"As long as we keep burning fossil fuels we will see more and more of these extremes," a climate change scientist told reporters.

Photo from Reuters.

Reflect: Do people need to make sacrifices to help protect the environment? Explain.

Based on the details in the story, scientists were able to conclude that climate change is driving up record temperatures worldwide by _______. (Common Core RI.5.1; RI.6.1)
a. calculating how much hotter greenhouse gases made July's heat waves around the world
b. studying the weather pattern El Niño and its impact on temperatures worldwide
c. linking heatwaves to record temperatures without using any evidence or data
d. analyzing various natural disasters such as wildfires and hurricanes over the past century
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