Record Pollution and Heat Herald a Season of Climate Extremes
Scientists have long warned that global warming will increase the chance of severe wildfires like those burning across Canada and heat waves like the one smothering Puerto Rico.
Its not officially summer yet in the Northern Hemisphere. But the extremes are already here.
Fires are burning across the breadth of Canada, blanketing parts of the eastern United States with choking, orange-gray smoke. Puerto Rico is under a severe heat alert as are other parts of the world. Earths oceans have heated up at an alarming rate.
Human-caused climate change is a force behind extremes like these. Though there is no specific research yet attributing this weeks events to global warming, the science is unequivocal that global warming significantly increases the chances of severe wildfires and heat waves like the ones affecting major parts of North America today.
Scientists are also warning that before the end of the year a global weather pattern known as El Nio could arrive, potentially setting new heat records.