Thermometer showing 31 degrees Celsius in Sweden, summer of 2018. Photo: Bjorn Ulfsson
16 Aug 2018

Expert warns: Extreme temperatures are here to stay

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Some scientists warn that extreme temperatures could be a permanent change in our climate in just a few years, with more wildfires as a result.

Researcher Florian Sévellec believes that in the coming years there will be increased risks of drought and forest fires.

"We do not always notice global warming. As a researcher, it's scary because people do not consider it enough, he says to The Guardian.

In the northern hemisphere, summer has been characterized by persistent heat waves and forest fires. Several heat records have been broken - in Lisbon the temperature was measured in early August up to breathtaking 44 degrees Celsius.

At the same time, the concern for the climate is increasing - an issue that may be legitimate if you ask some researchers.

In the journal Nature Communications, researcher Florian Sévellec writes that the extreme weather is likely to last until at least 2022.

Florian Sévellec has based his research on a new prognosis system based on statistical "casting". The system reviews data from previous climate models to measure which combination was most effective for predicting previous temperature trends.

And the current trend is clear: the warm climate is here to stay, according to Sévellec's calculations.


He explains that the warmer climate is partly related to the increase of greenhouse gas emissions.

However, humans do not always experience that the weather is always getting warmer, due to natural variations in the weather. This could be problematic because it means that we always do not realize the extent of climate change.

"We do not always notice global warming. As a researcher, it's scary because people do not consider it enough. All we can do is give people information and let them decide for themselves.

 

Risk of more droughts and forest fires

But the trend has not always been warmer temperatures. Between 1998 and 2010, global temperatures were in a cooling phase, a trend that has now turned and almost become the opposite.

Although Sévellec predicts a warmer climate, he points out that this does not mean that every summer will necessarily look like the one we've just experienced. The risk of warmer temperatures with more drought and forest fires will increase overall - but the model refers to a global scale. Exactly what part of the world will suffer and how can not be predicted with total precision.


 

Indoor thermometer showing 29,5 degrees Celsius in Sweden summer of 2018. Photo: Bjorn Ulfsson