2010 Russia heat wave due to natural variability

The 2010 Russian heat wave that killed thousands and cut into that country’s grain harvest was primarily due to natural variability, not human-spurred climate change, U.S. scientists said on Wednesday.

There was plenty of circumstantial evidence pointing to human-caused greenhouse gas emissions and the resulting rise in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, but close investigation showed this was not a major factor, the scientists said in research published online in Geophysical Research Letters.

“It was an off-the-charts intensity event,” Randall Dole of the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration said at a telephone news briefing. “It certainly was the most extreme event we had seen, dating back to at least 1880,” when modern weather record-keeping began.

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