Scorching heat waves, wildfires, and devastating floods across the globe are no longer weather anomalies but part of the new normal thanks to global warming, scientists say. “The old records belong to a world that no longer exists,” Martin Hoerling, a research meteorologist at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, told The Washington Post on Thursday. Numerous cities that had previously been immune to sweltering heat waves experienced the effects of climate change this summer, including a snowy region just north of the Arctic Circle in Finland that recorded a temperature of 90 degrees earlier this month. In Greece and Japan, record-breaking temperatures claimed dozens of lives. And in the U.S., at least 35 weather stations set new records for warm overnight temperatures in the past month. Scientists say the temperatures will only keep increasing, and extreme weather events will only become more catastrophic as the burning of fossil fuels injects more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
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