Report: "We have to anticipate that these events are part and parcel of the price we have to pay for climate change"

The summer of extreme heat has seen temperatures hit a record 41.1C in Japan, states of emergency declared in Latvia and LIthuania and hosepipe bans and water restrictions are in place in Ireland. 

Speaking on RTÉ Radio One's Morning Ireland, Emeritus Professor of Geography at Maynooth University John Sweeney explained the reasons for these soaring temperatures.

"It's quite exceptional", he said. "What we are seeing this summer is an extension of heatwave conditions into the middle and high latitudes. Last summer, we had the extreme heatwave Lucifer in the Mediterranean and we escaped the worst of it here. But the jet stream is moving so far north that it is giving high pressure a chance to build very strongly over large areas of Scandanavia and this is pushing in very high, very dry conditions."

We should expect more of this in the future, said Sweeney. "We can attribute a high percentage of what we're seeing here in probability to what we're doing to the atmosphere. We can say that things like this are 10 or 20 times more likely to occur than had we not warmed the earth up by one degree over the past 30 years or so. We have to anticipate that these type of events are part and parcel of the price we have to pay for climate change". 

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From RTÉ Radio One's Morning Ireland, Samantha Libreri talks to journalist David McNeill on the latest from the heatwave in Japan which has killed 30 people and discusses why Europe and Asia are experiencing this extreme heat with Maynooth University's John Sweeney