Climate

Increasing heatwave activity

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Science  08 Feb 2019:
Vol. 363, Issue 6427, pp. 596
DOI: 10.1126/science.363.6427.596-e

Global warming is leading to more, and more intense, heatwaves just about everywhere. Chapman et al. investigate some of the details of that trend in central England using a high-precision temperature record that covers the period from 1878 to the present. They show that there has been a two- to threefold increase in heatwave activity since the late 1800s and that week-long heatwaves with an average return period of 5 years now typically exceed the 28°C threshold, which, in the past, was the usual ceiling. Their analysis provides a quantitative benchmark for models used for the attribution of heatwaves.

Geophys. Res. Lett. 10.1029/2018GL081004 (2019).

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