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UN warns heatwaves will happen more often until 2060s

Illustrative: A man uses a garden hose to spray water on the roof of houses as forest fires rage nearby on the hills above the city of Funchal in the Portuguese Atlantic island of Madeira, July 18 2012. (AP/Joana Sousa)
Illustrative: A man uses a garden hose to spray water on the roof of houses as forest fires rage nearby on the hills above the city of Funchal in the Portuguese Atlantic island of Madeira, July 18 2012. (AP/Joana Sousa)

Heatwaves like the one stifling western Europe are becoming more frequent and the trend is set to continue until at least the 2060s, the United Nations says

The current heatwave should act as a wake-up call for countries pumping ever more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, the UN’s World Meteorological Organization says.

“They are becoming more frequent and this negative trend will continue… at least until the 2060s, independent of our success in climate mitigation efforts,” WMO chief Petteri Taalas tells a press conference in Geneva.

“Thanks to climate change we have started breaking records… In the future, these kinds of heatwaves are going to be normal, and we will see even stronger extremes,” he adds.

“Emissions are still growing and therefore it’s not sure that we would see the peak in the 2060s if we are not able to bend this emission growth development, especially in the big Asian countries which are the largest emitters.”

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