Western Heat Wave ‘Virtually Impossible’ without Climate Change

The recent heat wave that scorched the Pacific Northwest would not have been possible without the influence of climate change, according to a new study reported on by Scientific American. The heat wave, which swept Washington, Oregon and British Columbia in late June, saw Seattle and Portland break all-time temperature records at 108 and 116 degrees, respectively.

Scientific models using statistical ranges found that the event would have been 150 times less likely without the influence of climate change. The temperatures were so far outside of what the models predicted, that even once they were forced to consider recent extremes, they suggested that the heat wave was at least a 1 in 1,000-year event. 

“The temperatures broke way above this upper bound,” said Geert Jan van Oldenborgh, one of the study's authors. “Our standard methods of evaluation didn’t work.”

Read the full article here.