The year 2016 was hit by extreme heat waves, which led to some of the highest temperatures ever registered. Climate scientists decided to investigate these unusual phenomena, and managed to identify a distressing cause for them. This was the first extreme event humans were directly responsible for, and which could have been avoided if we had been more cautious.
Humans have started influencing the climate more and more
It’s not the first time when humans lead to the occurrence of extreme weather events. However, until now, they were only secondary causes, which only made the phenomena more likely to happen. In other words, if the human action was null, they would have still happened.
This time, the situation is different. In a study developed by the American Meteorological Society, scientists discovered that humans were the main cause of these extreme heat waves. More precisely, they caused those changes in climate which turned into scorching temperatures. This leads to a worrying conclusion. We are now experiencing new weather, which is harder to predict.
“Finding multiple extreme events that weren’t even possible without human influence makes it clear that we’re experiencing new weather, because we’ve made a new climate,” explains Jeff Rosenfeld, member of the American Meteorological Society.
Many extreme weather events are direct consequences of human action
Since the beginning of the modern era, 2016 was the hottest year we had experienced. These extreme heat waves caused the death of 580 people from Asia, and led to some extreme measures taken by governments. In some parts of India, for instance, daytime cooking got banned, while Thailand consumed tremendous amounts of energy while keeping the air conditioning constantly running.
These extreme weather changes might lead to severe rainfall being more likely to occur than 50 years ago. Also, the most iconic weather and climate events, such as El Nino, coral bleaching, or the constantly increasing temperatures beyond the Arctic Circle, are also a consequence of human action. We are clearly entering a new era, and this might be a sign that we should do something.
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