There’s no way to know whether the fires ravaging Colorado are caused by global warming per se. Similarly, there’s no way to know whether the all-time high temperatures expected to be set in cities in the Midwest and South over the next few days are caused by global warming. Or the all-time warm winter and spring many states experienced this year.
Scorching heat, high winds and bone-dry conditions are fueling catastrophic wildfires in the US west that offer a preview of the kind of disasters that human-caused climate change could bring, a trio of scientists said on Thursday.
“What we’re seeing is a window into what global warming really looks like,” said Princeton University’s Michael Oppenheimer, a lead author for the UN’s climate science panel. “It looks like heat, it looks like fires, it looks like this kind of environmental disaster … This provides vivid images of what we can expect to see more of in the future.”