Heatwaves in the US and Mexico are 35 times more likely due to climate change

Scientists report that human-induced climate change has made the recent extreme heat in the US Southwest, Mexico, and Central America about 35 times more likely.
The World Weather Attribution (WWA) group analyzed the intense heat experienced from May to early June, which particularly affected US states like California, Nevada, and Arizona.
Mexico also faced deadly extreme temperatures during this period.
Attribution studies, which take time to complete, have not yet determined the specific impact of climate change on the ongoing heatwave affecting the central US, Northeast, and parts of Canada.
According to a new report, this type of heatwave is now four times more likely than in the year 2000, due to emissions warming the planet.
Experts warn that climate change is increasing the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, including heatwaves.
“The results of our study should be taken as another warning that our climate is heating to dangerous levels," said Izidine Pinto, a researcher at the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute.
“Potentially deadly and record-breaking temperatures are becoming more frequent in the US, Mexico, and Central America due to climate change. As long as fossil fuel emissions continue, the heat will worsen, endangering vulnerable populations and raising living costs.”
The WWA study focused on the US Southwest, Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, and Honduras, which also experienced dangerously high temperatures.
The scientists found that the hottest five-day stretch in June across this region was made about 1.4°C warmer by climate change.
“Every fraction of a degree of warming exposes more people to dangerous heat," said Karina Izquierdo, Urban Advisor for the Latin American and Caribbean region at the Red Cross Climate Centre.
“The additional 1.4°C of heat caused by climate change could have meant the difference between life and death for many during May and June."
Mexican officials have attributed the heatwave to numerous deaths, including those of howler monkeys in the southern state of Tabasco.
The scientists emphasized the danger of high night-time temperatures, which prevent the body from resting and recovering.
The WWA group conducts rapid-attribution studies on weather events globally to assess the role of climate change in their severity.
These studies compare actual events to models of what likely would have occurred in a world without human-induced global warming.


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