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Climate change made European heatwave at least five times likelier

Searing heat shows crisis is ‘here and now’, say scientists, and worse than predicted

A plane drops water over a wildfire on the edge of Cenicientos, central Spain, in June. Photograph: Pierre-Philippe Marcou/AFP/Getty Images

The record-breaking heatwave that struck France and other European nations in June was made at least five – and possibly 100 – times more likely by climate change, scientists have calculated.

Such heatwaves are also about 4C hotter than a century ago, the researchers say. Furthermore, the heatwaves hitting Europe are more frequent and more severe than climate models have predicted.

Last month was the hottest June since 1880, both in Europe and around the world, according to separate data released on Tuesday by the EU’s Copernicus Climate Change Service. In Europe the temperature was 3C above the June average a century ago, and globally it was more than 1C higher. [weiter]