Why the heat dome in Canada is “a surprise, including for specialists”

Why the heat dome in Canada is “a surprise, including for specialists”
Why the heat dome in Canada is “a surprise, including for specialists”

“It exceeds what the specialists expected in terms of temperatures so quickly,” says Jean Jouzel. Guest from Europe 1, on Saturday, the climatologist and former vice-president of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) explained that the extreme heat felt in North America is part of what scientists “anticipated thirty years ago, in terms of extreme climatic events, more frequent, more intense, in terms of acceleration, sea level rise, rhythm, and global warming “.

Nevertheless, specifies the expert, “it goes faster, it is more intense, and it geographically covers a very large area. So yes, it is a surprise, including for the specialists.”

Should we expect such temperatures in Europe?

If the geographic area impacted by this global warming is larger than what scientists had predicted, could France, and Western Europe more broadly, soon be subject to such temperatures? “Two or three years ago, an article by my colleagues at Météo France mentioned temperatures above 50 ° C in France”, replies the climatologist, referring to temperatures of up to 52-53 ° C, but in a way punctual, and “rather for after 2050”.

However, for the moment, “we do not mention these temperatures at all in the current context in Western Europe,” he said. “This should nevertheless make us grasp the urgency of combating global warming.”

“You have to start getting used to”

In any case, adds Jean Jouzel, “global warming is inevitable” and “you have to start getting used to it”. While the world has its eyes riveted on the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 ° C, set since the Paris Agreement in 2015, the climatologist affirms, Saturday, that “we will necessarily take at least one degree, and beat, quite strongly and on a fairly regular basis, the heat records “. A warning which joins that formulated by the UN, last May, which foresees that this limit of 1.5 ° C will be reached by 2025. “The climatic extremes, the heat waves will continue to become more intense, more frequent “, continues Jean Jouzel.

While Commander Cousteau spoke at the time of an action for the planet in favor of future generations, the former vice-president of the IPCC, he specifies that the deadline has passed. Those who will suffer from global warming in 2050 are not future generations, “they are the young people of today. They will be there.”

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