Humans ‘100% behind’ recent record-breaking weather events

Experts are worried about rising temperatures caused by human activity.
Loukia Papadopoulos
Representational image of global warming.jpg
Representational image of global warming.


Scientists around the world are worried about recent weather events and say humans are “100 percent behind” the worrisome rise in temperatures and accompanying side effects, according to a report published by BBC News on Saturday.

Among them was the hottest day ever recorded in July, breaking the global average temperature record set in 2016.

Average global temperature topped 17C for the first time this month, reaching 17.08C on 6 July.

And this event was human-caused, said experts, noting that human activities are behind a planet warmed by more and more greenhouse gasses.

"Humans are 100% behind the upward trend," told BBC News climate scientist Dr Friederike Otto, from Imperial College London.

"If I'm surprised by anything, it's that we're seeing the records broken in June, so earlier in the year. El Niño normally doesn't really have a global impact until five or six months into the phase," she added.

"I'm not aware of a similar period when all parts of the climate system were in record-breaking or abnormal territory," Thomas Smith, an environmental geographer at London School of Economics, noted.

"The Earth is in uncharted territory,” added the researcher.

Thus far, four climate records have been broken this summer alone: the hottest day on record, the hottest June on record globally, extreme marine heatwaves and record-low Antarctic sea-ice.

These extreme temperatures have made it difficult for scientists to predict the weather of the next 10 years.

"Models from the 1990s pretty much put us where we are today. But to have an idea about what the next 10 years would look like exactly would be very difficult," Smith explained.

"Things aren't going to cool down.”

For now, the only thing experts can claim for certain is that the world has warmed and the oceans have absorbed most of that heat from the atmosphere.

"Our models have natural variability in them, and there are still things appearing that we had not envisaged, or at least not yet," Daniela Schmidt, Prof of Earth Sciences at the University of Bristol, told BBC News.

This is especially worrisome since marine ecosystems produce 50 percent of the world's oxygen.

"People tend to think about trees and grasses dying when we talk about heatwaves. The Atlantic is 5C warmer than it should be - that means organisms need 50 percent more food just to function as normal," she warned.

Dr Caroline Holmes at the British Antarctic Survey, explained that it’s difficult even for scientists to understand what is happening.

"You can say that we've fallen off a cliff, but we don't know what's at the bottom of the cliff here," she told BBC News.