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Russian Heat Wave Statistically Linked to Climate Change

By Brandon Keim

A new method of crunching climate data could make it possible to put a figure on climate change’s contribution to freak weather events, something that’s been difficult to do with empirical precision.

The debut subject: the Russian heat wave of July 2010, which killed 700 people and was unprecedented since record keeping began in the 19th century. According to the analysis, there’s an 80 percent chance that climate change was responsible.

“With climate change, it’s going to happen five times more often than without,” said climatologist Stefan Rahmstorf of Germany’s Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research.

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