European Heat Waves Double In Length Since 1880
- Bern, Switzerland (SPX) Aug 06, 2007
The most accurate measures of European daily temperatures ever
indicate that the length of heat waves on the continent has doubled
and the frequency of extremely hot days has nearly tripled in the past
century. The new data shows that many previous assessments of daily
summer temperature change underestimated heat wave events in western
Europe by approximately 30 percent. Paul Della-Marta and a team of
researchers at the University of Bern in Switzerland compiled evidence
from 54 high-quality recording locations from Sweden to Croatia and
report that heat waves last an average of 3 days now-with some lasting
up to 4.5 days-compared to an average of around 1.5 days in 1880.
The results are published 3 August in the Journal of Geophysical
Research-Atmospheres, a publication of the American Geophysical Union.
The researchers suggest that their conclusions contribute to growing
evidence that western Europe's climate has become more extreme and
confirm a previously hypothesized increase in the variance of daily
summer temperatures since the 19th century.