Steven C. Sherwood
Science 13 Nov 2020:
Vol. 370, Issue 6518, pp. 782-783
Heat extremes on Earth have reached a disturbing new level in recent years. The July 2020 temperatures soared across Siberia and reached a record-breaking 38°C inside the Arctic Circle, continuing a line of record heat events globally. “Event attribution” calculations, which are an endeavor to apportion blame for extreme events through quantitative modeling, suggest that some events would have been nearly impossible without human-induced global warming. This includes the recent Siberian summer and the 2018 heat wave in Japan, which killed more than a thousand people (1, 2). Rising heat is creating new challenges for humanity that will require new adaptation and protection measures. Smart implementation requires careful calculation of how further global temperature rises will translate into short-term regional heat events and how these will translate into impacts on human health and activities, food supply, infrastructure, and ecosystems.
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