A study shows that recent record-breaking temperatures in the Arctic have been influenced by climate change caused by humans.
Scientists have revealed what they say is “unequivocal evidence” of the influence of greenhouse gases on the planet.
The study examined the recent record-breaking temperatures in the Arctic and concluded they would have been almost impossible without the influence of climate change caused by humans.
It also found that the prolonged Siberian heatwave from January to June this year would only have happened less than once in every 80,000 years without climate change.
The record Arctic temperature of 38C (100.4F) set in June in the Russian town of Verkhoyansk would almost certainly not have happened without the level of emissions seen since pre-industrial times, they added.
Computer simulations were used to compare today’s climate, one with about 1C (33.8F) of global warming, and one with the climate as it would have been without human influence.
The scientists, who were contributing to the World Weather Attribution initiative, said their findings are “unequivocal evidence” of the influence of greenhouse gases on the planet.
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Andrew Ciavarella, lead author of the research and senior detection and attribution scientist at the Met Office, said: “This research is further evidence of the extreme temperatures we can expected to see more frequently around the world in a warming global climate.
“The findings of this research – that climate change increased the chances of the prolonged heat in Siberia by at least 600 times – are truly staggering.”
Dr Friederike Otto, of the World Weather Attribution Initiative, said: “This study shows again just how much of a game changer climate change is with respect to heatwaves.
“Given that heatwaves are by far the deadliest extreme weather events in most parts of the world they must be taken very seriously.
“As emissions continue to rise we need to think about building resilience to extreme heat all over the world, even in Arctic communities which would have seemed nonsensical not very long ago.”
The record temperature in Verkhoyansk caused wildfires, the loss of permafrost, and an invasion of pests.
The town experiences a massive temperature range and in winter is known for its bone-chilling cold weather making it almost unfit for human habitation.
It is said that under Stalin, political prisoners were sent there, in part, to bear the extreme winter as part of their punishment.
The collaboration involved the World Weather Attribution group, European meteorological services and the Shirshov Institute of Oceanology. The study was conducted by scientists at eight institutions, including Oxford University.