Scientists have attributed last week’s unprecedented heat-wave across the US Pacific Northwest and Canada to climate change.

According to an analysis by climate scientists at World Weather Attribution and the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Center, climate change caused by a buildup of green-houses gases in the atmosphere made the extreme weather event 150 times more likely.

The Red Cross said last week’s record-breaking heatwaves in parts of the US and Canada would have been “virtually impossible” without the influence of human-caused climate change.

Sky-rocketing temperatures are severely impacting millions of people and putting lives at risk, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) warned

“Right now, we are witnessing heat records topple as temperatures rise, with terrifying consequences for millions of people around the world,” said IFRC President Francesco Rocca.

Why the heat wave hitting the Western U.S. is so intense
Why the heat wave hitting the Western U.S. is so intense

Communities across the globe are struggling to cope with the increased temperatures and frequency of heatwaves along with wildfires, drought, heat exhaustion and heat-related severe health risks, said the Red Cross.

“The Red Cross and Red Crescent network cannot combat the devastating impact of the climate crisis alone,” added Rocca.

“There must be a concerted global effort to deal with the climate emergency, which represents the biggest threat to the future of the planet and its people.”

While scientists are still not sure whether this 5 degree jump was an unfortunate one-off event or a disturbing new pattern in climate change they are certain about one thing. We should definitely not expect heatwaves to behave as they have in the past … in terms of what we need to prepare for.”Dr Friederike Otto, the associate director of the environmental change institute at the University of Oxford, who is one of the founders of the World Weather Attribution group

The Head of the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre, Maarten van Aalst, said, “Heatwaves topped the global charts of deadliest disasters in both 2019 and 2020. Here we have another terrible example – sadly no longer a surprise but part of a very worrying global trend.”

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