Climate Change

The shape of things to come

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Science  23 Feb 2018:
Vol. 359, Issue 6378, pp. 881-882
DOI: 10.1126/science.359.6378.881-g

A widespread and intense heat wave struck western and central Europe in June 2017, ranking as one of the most intense mega–heat waves since 1948. Like similar episodes in 2003 and 2010, it affected a wide area and displayed exceptional intensity. What set it apart from those events, however, is how early in the year it occurred. Sánchez-Benítez et al. analyzed its characteristics and attributed its occurrence to the formation of an intense subtropical ridge like those more typically occurring in July and August. They conclude that this episode could be a good example of what the future may bring, with high-summer mega–heat waves occurring earlier in the year.

Geophys. Res. Lett. 10.1002/2018GL077253 (2018).

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