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Heat Waves

Monday, 19 July 2021, presse, Universität, Forschen

Researchers at the University of Graz show human impact on extreme weather in Africa

Desert dust from the Sahara dimming the skies, African heat making us sweat in Central Europe. Such is going to be a frequent scenario, as a study of the University of Graz shows. Andrea Steiner and her doctoral student Mastewesha Engdaw from the show that heat waves over the African continent have become significantly more frequent over the past two decades. "Our results clearly reveal that heat wave occurrences have emerged from natural climate variability in Africa and are therefore caused by human-induced climate change," Engdaw summarises. This implies that poor regions are hardly hit by weather extremes. "The industrialised countries are responsible for this development. We have been emitting far more greenhouse gases than for instance Africa," Andrea Steiner explains. "The climate protection measures the EU has just suggested must be implemented as soon as possible," she urges.

Steiner and Engdaw conducted their research in cooperation with colleagues from the University of Edinburgh. The results have been published in the International Journal of Climatology.

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